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OU 156128 



Heeramma and Venkataswami 


Folktales from India 

Heerdmma and Venkataswami 


Folktales from India 


Author of ' Life of M. Ntigloo’, * The Story of Bobhili*, ‘ Tulsetnina/i 
and Nagaya, or Folk-stories from India ’ and a Memoir 
of Ralph T. H. Griffith, the Translator of Rdmdyana 






All Rights Reserved 


India is without exaggeration the home of 'the' 
Eminent story-tellers in times of yore flourished in it, and 
the stories presented in the present volume, after the rejec- 
tion of several as spurious imitations, may be older than 
the stories of Vishnu Sharma or Pilpay (Bidpai) nay, 
older than the Buddhist jatakas — which, by the by, claim 
the highest possible antiquity — handed down as they are 
traditionally from father to son for untold generations. 
These stories were collected at Nagpore, the classical 
capital of the old Bhonsla kings and the present capital 
of the Central Provinces, close to 

‘ Where Ramagiri shadowy woods extend 

And those pure streams where Sita bathed descend ’ ’ 

and at Secunderabad, the military station in the 
Deccan. The chivalrous Rajput, the patriotic Bundela, 
the bold Mahratta, the strict Mahomedan, the high- 
born Brahmin, the mild Hindu, the faithful Pardeshi, 
the pleasure-loving Pariah, Aryans, non-Aryans, and 
aborigines, or to put the matter in another way the 
astrologer, the purohit, the bazaar master, the clerk, the 
mechanic, the draughtsman, the schoolboy, the com- 
pounder, the chaprassi, the firewood-seller, the punka- 
puller, the busybody, the gosai, the domestic servant, the 
faithful Madras sepoy, the thievish tailor and the wheedl- 
ing-toned shoemaker, have all contributed to my volume. 

1 Translation by Prof. H. H. Wilson from Kalidasa's Meghaduta. 



The writer's late wife Heeramma, his favourite sister the 
late P. Huthoolumma, his mother-in-law M. Narayana- 
amma — mother of Heera, a garrulous old woman pos- 
sessing a retentive memory and graphic powers of 
narration — and other relatives, such as my brother-in- 
law, cousins and nephews, were the narrators of some of 
the most interesting tales in the collection. 

The stories were collected and the work of writing them 
commenced about the beginning of the year 1895. Of the 
stories told me in childhood, I remember only one import- 
ant one — The Loving Sister — and a few minor ones, 
though one of my two paternal aunts, a much-travelled 
woman, long since dead, used to tell my sisters stories of 
considerable length, such as that of one Baki Bhulam- 
moodoo, far into the night ; they lay beyond my compre- 
hension for I was only a child then. I used to be sorry 
that those interesting stories were lost to me. But those 
fears were groundless. Stories are never lost : Baki 
Bhulammoodoo lives in the Punjab-hero Raja Rasalu. 
They migrate or travel and, at times, become suited 
strangely to the mode of thought of the alien peoples to 
which they have travelled. One story from Bezwada on 
the Krishna (218 miles from Secunderabad) and another 
heard at Nagpore (1048 miles from the latter or 830 
miles from the former) resembled each other in general 
characteristics though with different incidents. Besides, 
folklorists are on the field. They have gone to the 
diggings with alacrity to amass as much as possible 
of the materials of unlettered primitive culture before 
the steam-engine, electricity, and modern civilization 
do their work of destruction, reducing the stories to 
nothing or infusing new ideas or thoughts such as are 
sure to vitiate them and make them untrue to folklore 
tradition, Of the 101 stories, the first twelve have 



appeared in the ‘ Indian Antiquary the editor of the 
journal (Sir Richard Carnac Temple, second Baronet), 
evincing special interest from the very outset, and now 
according permission to me to republish the stories here 
for which my thanks are due. They are arranged as 
I wrote them. In some cases I have added a touch to 
embellish a story or heighten an effect. On the other 
hand I have omitted what was obscure. Yet I hope that, 
on the whole, I have been faithful to primitive tradition. 

To enhance the utility of this, my humble contribution 
to folklore study, I have drawn up a very careful classifi- 
cation of the stories on a scientific basis to the best of 
my ability for the use of the student. I have also given 
copious notes and appended a glossary of Indian words, 
occurring in the text, and these words are termed by some 
grammarians as ‘ barbarisms,’ and they become the more 
so for lack of diacritical marks which the Press had not 
in sufficiency ; as also added an analytical index. 

My task has been no easy one and I have given much 
time to it, yet no one is more aware of the short- 
comings of this work or of its appendages — the classi- 
fication, the notes, the glossary and the index — than the 
writer himself, writing as he does in a foreign tongue and 
devoid of academic training. Still if it tends with all its 
defects to bring a moment’s pleasure to the gentle reader 
whoever or wherever he may be (Aryan or non-Aryan On 
the Albion’s Thames or India’s Ganges) the writer will 
deem himself amply repaid for the labours bestowed these 
four years amidst doing his duties required of him in 
this work-a-day World. 

In the preparation of this book the very best thanks 
of the author are due to the Rev. John Lendrum, M.A., of 
the Free Church Mission, and Professor of Philosophy 
in the Hislop College, Nagpore, who looked through my 



papers (text of the stories only) correcting ^ them where 
necessary. My thanks are also due to Shums.*ul-Ulama 
Syed Ali Bilgrami, the eminent Sanskritist in charge 
of the Nizam’s Public Works portfolio, for lending me 
out of his library — the best that Hyderabad possesses 
— Swynnerton’s ‘ Indian Nights Entertainments ’ and 
iEsop’s Fables, without the former I should not have 
obtained the necessary aid for the classification of the 
tales — aid for which the learned folklorist is entitled to 
my thanks. 

One word as regards the title of the book. I have 
named it after my deceased wife, the late M. Heeramma, 
that lode star of my life for seven years, that thoughtful 
girl, that chaste soul, that close, almost Lubbock-like 
observer of ant’s habits and ways, lying with her sweet 
first-born these five years in the Hindu necropolis at 
Nagpore, the Naganuddi flowing by. Without dissociating 
myself from one whose love was like that of a mother 
I have linked my name with that of my wife and this 
explanation will, I hope, absolve me from a charge of 
presumption in naming the book as I have done. 

M. N. V. 

The Hermitage, 
Secunderabad, Deccan, 
October, 1898. 

1 The corrections were few, as the reverend gentleman who was a learned 
man and thoroughly understood the Indian mode of thought, _ did not 
think fit to make unnecessary corrections. The last that I have heard of him 
was from Elgin (Scotland) some time after the war was begun, in which he had 
lost his grown-up son. He had been the corrector, (so may I term him in the 
absence of a better word) of my stories without the least show evinced of his 
wide scholarship, but I believe he is still the corrector of morals of his parish 
besides being an ardent collector of stamps and coins in the best sense of the 


Mr. M. N. Venkataswami has kindly sent me advance 
proofs of most of the folktales published in this book. 
Whilst they interest mS as a humble foreign, yet sympa- 
thetic, student of the life and thought of the common 
people of India whom during many years residence in 
their midst I found it so easy to love, my chief interest 
is in the friend who sends them to me. 

I leave it to others to pass critical judgment upon 
the matter or style of the book itself. To me its mission* 
is that it recalls the man — and his home. 

As one who is convinced that India and England are 
peculiarly fitted to work together for the world’s good, in 
a great, mutually respecting partnership, I am also 
convinced that nothing can do more for the establishment 
of that partnership on an abiding foundation than the 
cultivation of genuine personal friendship between 
Indians and Englishmen. 

For many reasons, which it would take a whole essay 
to expound, this is often difficult. If there be the right 
attitude on both sides, I do not think that it is more 
difficult than formerly but less. Yet the right attitude 
is itself a growth which may be enormously developed 
by seizing every occasion and instrument for its 

Such occasions and such instruments were generously 
placed in my path by my friend Mr. M. N. Venkataswami 
during my residence in Hyderabad, Deccan. 

The very frankness and friendliness of their pre- 
sentation lured me into a response which turned them 
into ministries of grace to myself, and of sympathetic 




understanding of much that lies behind the life of a 
Hindu home and its intimate relation to the' Indian’s 
outlook in matters social, religious and even political. 

I recall with intense pleasure the fellowship which 
transmuted what might have been merely the hospitable 
entertainment of an unduly honoured guest into the 
higher privilege of a chat about bboks and children and 
religion and the home with a friend of the family. 
Memories like this do not need much stimulus from the 
imagination to recreate the impressions of such inter- 
course, nor to revivify the insight it gave into Indian 
home life, in which the unobtrusive yet honoured and 
perpetual ministry of the Hindu wife and mother 
imparted fragrance and sweetness to the whole. 

My friend’s services to Literature have been of no 
mean order. The patient labour, the public spirit, and 
the enterprise in a realm which denies the lordship of 
mere commercialism, are worthy of commendation and 
recognition, but, to me, the greatest thing is his personal 
friendship with its revelation of the essential nearness of 
Indian and Englishman and of a divinely constituted 
brotherhood which has not to be created but only to be 


The Manse, Surbiton 
January, 1923 

The Author’s thanks, in a large measure of course, 
are due to the Reverend Gentleman, his friend, for the 
prefaratory note and to Mr. K. Ramaswaihi^ his nephew, 
for the picture of the cenotaph. 



Classification ... ... ... ... xv 

1. The Thousand-Eyed Mother ... ... ... 1 

2. The Loving Sister ••• ... ... ... 2 

3. The Taming of the Blue-Stocking ... ... 6 

4. The Able Minister and the Ungrateful King ... 9 

5. The Self-sacrificing Fairy; A Story of Sirens 13 

6. The Charitable Maid-Servant ... ... ... 19 

7. Lalan, Princess of Rubies ... ... ... 21 

8. Jambhu Raja ... ... ... ■■ 31 

9. The Disguised Royal Thief ... ... ... 36' 

10. The King, the Whelp, and the Minister ... ... 39 

11. Kuthuveluku and Poongaveluku ... ... 40 

12. The Old Woman of the Sugar-cane Field ... ... 45 

13. The Pearl Merchant ... ... ... 46 

14. The Brahmin, the Tiger and the Ass ; or The Origin of 

Wine ... ... ... ... 49 

15# The Crow and Its Ninety Eggs ... ... 51 

16. The Princess and the Ponna Flowers ... 52 

17. The King, the State Elephant and the Chaste Laundress. 54 

18* The Simpleton, the Thieves and the Clever Mother ... 56 

19. The Two Friends ... ... ... .. 59 

20. The Sage and the Would-be Mother ... ... 62 

21. The Learned Linguist ... ... ... 63 

22. The Foolish Mendicant and the Sensible Lady ... 64 

23. The Haughty Man Humiliated ... ... 66 

24. The Shakespeare of India ... ... ... 66 

25. The Imbecile and the Rats ... ... ... 69 

26. The Robber, the Destiny-writer and the King ... 69 

27. The True Recluse ... ... ... ... 72 

28. The Nanga Dev ... ... ... ... 74 

29. The Ill-fated Penurious Man ... ... ... 75 

30. The Mosquitoes' Laughter ... ... ... 75 

31. The Bhagatinaya Sadhu ... ... ... 76 

32. The Hukbandand His Selfish Wife ... 80 

33. The^'Mother-in-Law and the Son-in-Law ... ... 81 




34. The Prince, His Wife and the Fairies ... , ... 82 

35 . The Zamindar and His Two Sons ... ... 88 

36. The Two Barbers ... ... ... ... 89 

37. The Over-confident Marwadi, His Wife, and the Gay 

Lothaire ... ... ... ... 9l 

38. The Girl of the Woodlands, Her Brothers and the 

Rakshasa ... ... ... ... 93 

39. The Fakeer’s Daughter and the Wicked Queen ... 96 

40. The King, His Sufferings and Vow ... ... 98 

41. The Girl, the Linga and the Wonderful Gift ... 99 

42. Kabeerdass and Kalidass ... ... ... 100 

43. The Prince and the Deceitful Hospice-keeper ... 100 

44. The Brahmin, the Oilman and the Prostitute ... 103 

45. The Impoverished Merchant and the Fickle-minded 

Wife... ... ... ... ... 107 

46. The Silly Merchant ... ... ... 108 

47. The King and the Three Old Men ... ... 109 

48 . The King and the Shepherd ... ... ... 1 1 1 

49. Ellayi and Mullayi ... ... ... HI 

50. The King and the Dervish ... ... ... 112 

51. The King and the Barber ... ... 113’ 

52. The Crow and Its Young ... ... .■■ 113 

53. The Young Man, the Police Official and the Ber Tree... 115 

54. The Woman, Her Lawful Husband and Her Paramour. 116 

55. The Melon-Planter and the Jackals ... ... 117 

56. The Seven Princes and the Fairies ... ... 120 

57. The Man and the Snake ... ... ... 124 

58. The Khadira Tree and the Axe ... ... 125 

59. Navlipitta and Piglipitta ... ... ... 125 

60. The Milkman and the Ramayana ... ... 125 

61. The Deceitful Weaver ... ... ... 126 

62. The King and the Selfish Barber ... ... 127 

63. The Man and His Two Wives... ... ... 127 

64. The Goddess and the King ... ... ... 128 

65. The Wood-Seller and the Seven Fairies ... ... 130 

66. The King’s Son and the Prophecy ... ... 134 

67. The Young Man and Hazari Lai of Baidar’s Daughter. 135 

68. The Fox and the Ferryman ... ... • ... 137 

69. The Faulty Brahman ... ... ' ... 138 


No. page 

70. The Story of Roloo and Mudhdhaila ... ... HO 

71. How Englishmen Got the Best Boons Conferred Upon 

Them ... ... ... HO 

72. How Englishmen Lost Their Caste ... ... HI 

73. The Lilliputian and His Field ... ... ... HI 

74. God, the Dog and the Cock ... ... ... 142 

75. God and the Elephant ... ... 142 

76. God and the Bull ... ... ■■■ H3 

77. Agni and Varuna ... ■■■ H3 

78. The Prince, the Medicinal Leaves and the Muhurta ... 144 

79. The Fly who forgot Her Name ... 149 

80. The Zamindar’s Daughter and the Wonderful Gift ... 150 

81. The Brahmin, the Goldsmith and the Image of Gold ... 152 

82. The Adventures of Ratnalpolchetty ... ... 153 

83. The Tiger and the Ass ... ... ••• 160 

84. Prabhuddeekoo and Sashiprabha ... 162 

85. The Seven Princes, Their Only Sister and Her Cruel 

Sisters-in-Law ... ... ... H5 

85. TheOriginof Mushroom ... ... ... 167 

87. Why the Mogli Flower and the Lime discarded in 

Worship of Deities ... ... 167 

88. The Beggar and the Tactless Charitable Lady ... 168 

89. The Woman, the Fowl Curry and Her Husband ... 168 

90. The Man and the Neighbour’s Fowl ... ... 169 

91. The Story of the Lame Man and the Blind Man ... 169 

92. The Old Woman and the Fop ... ... ... 170 

93. The Family and the Leucoderma ... .. 170 

94. The Monkey, the Goat and the Workman ... ... 171 

95. The King and the Resourceful Chaste Woman ... 172 

96. The King, the Queen and the Evil Hour ... ... 172 

97. The Princess, Her Husband and Their Dead Children... 173 

98. The Guru and the Simple-minded Neatherd ... 175 

99. The Story of the Pishoo and the Bug ... ... 176 

100. The Guru, His Disciple, the Juggling-Woman and the 

Chola King and Queen ... ... ... 176 

101. The Man and His Very Unkind Wife ... ... 181 

Notes ... ... ... ... ... 183 

Glossary ... ... ... ... 211 

Index ... ... ... ... ... 219 



Ref. No. 
to whole 

A. Stories of the Marvellous or 

1. Child from the Right Thumb Type. — The Fakeer’s 

Daughter and the Wicked Queen .... .... 39 

2. Crowned by the Elephant Type. — The Bhagat- 

maya Sadhu .... .... .... .... 31 

3. Faithful John Type. — The Woodseller and the 

Seven Fairies .... .... ■■■• 65 

4 . Horse- Iliisband Type. — Jambhu Raja .... 8 

5. Illusive Deer Type. — The Seven Princes and 

the Fairies .... .... .... 56 

6. Inevitable Death Type — The King’s Son and 

the Prophecy .... .... 66 

7. Jack the Giant Killer Type — The Prince, the 

Medicinal Leaves and the Muhurta .... .... 78 

8. Journey to Hell Type — 

(а) Prabhuddeekoo and Sashiprabha .... 84 

(б) The Adventures of Ratnalpolchetty. 82 

9. Life from the Dead Type — 

(c) The Goddess and the King .... 64 

(6) The Girl of the Woodlands, Her 

Brothers and the Rakshasa ... 38 

(c) The Two Friends .... .... 17 

(d) The Prince, the Mediciiial Leaves and 

the Muhurta .... 78 



^ef. No. 
lo whole 

10. Life in the Carcanel of Jewels Type — 

(o) The Fakeer’s Daughter and the Wick- 
ed Queen .... .... .... 39 

11. Naga King Type. — The Loving Sister .... 2 

12. Rat-Wife Type. — The Prince and the Deceit- 
ful Hospice-keeper . . .. . .. 43 

B. Stobies of Adventure and Romance 

1 . All or None Type— 

(fl) The Able Minister and the Ungrateful 

King .... .... .... 4 

(b) The Pearl Merchant .... .... 13 

2. The Ass, Table and Cudgel Type. — The Adven- 
tures of Ratnalpolchetty (part) .... .... 82 

.3. Beast Bird Fish Type— 

(a) Lalan, Princess of Rubies ... 7 

(6) The Prince, the Medicinal Leaves and 

the Muhurta (part) . .. .... 78 

4. Bride Humbled Type — 

(fl) The Taming of the Blue-Stocking .... 3 

{b) The Young Man and Hazari Lai of 

Baidar’s Daughter . .. .... 67 

5. Bride Wager Type — 

(fl) The Taming of the Blue-Stocking .... 3 

(6) The Prince, the Medicinal Leaves 

and the Muhurta (part) .... .... 78 

(c) The Young Man and Hazari Lai of 

Baidars’ Daughter (part) .... 67 

{d) The Princess, Her Husband and 

Their Dead Children (part) .... 97 

6. Cruel Step-mother Type— 

' Cfl) Jambhu Raja .... .... .... 8 

(b) The Loving Sister .... 2 



Ref. No. 
to whole 


(c) The Seven Princes, Their Only Sister 

and Her Cruel Sisters-in-Law (part). 


7 1 

Dark Sayings Type. — The King and the Shep- 


■■■■ •••• ■■■• 



Death from Sheer Fright Type — The Man and 

the Snake 



Faithless Wife Type — 

(a) The Two Friends 

(b) The Woman, Her Lawful Husband 


and Her Paramour 



Genoveva Type — 

(a) Lalan, Princess of Rubies. .. 

(b) The Seven Princes, Their Only Sister 

7 ’ 

and Her Cruel Sisters-in-Law 



Gudrun Type — Kuthuveluku and Poonga- 




Inevitable Destiny Type — 

(a) The Robber, the Destiny-writer and 

the King 


(b) The King, the Queen and the Evil Hour 


(c) The Adventures of Ratnalpolchetty. 



Jealous Queen Type — The Fakeer’s Daughter 

and the Wicked Queen 



Long Life from Stays Type — The King and the 

Three Old Men 



Master Thief Type — The Disguised Roval 





Punished or Rewarded on One’s Deserts Type — 

(o) The Impoverished Merchant and the 

Fickle-minded Wife 


(6) The Charitable Maid-servant 


(c) The Silly Merchant 


(d) The Woodseller and the Seven Fairies, 




Ref. No 
to whole 

17 . Search of Beautiful Wife Type. — The Prince aim 

the Deceitful Hospice-keeper .... .... 43 

1 8. Chaste Seeta (Pativrata) Type — 

(fl) Jambhu Raja .... .... .... 8 

(b) The Foolish Mendicant and the Sensi- 

ble Lady .... .... .... 22 

(c) The King, the State Elephant and 

the Chaste Laundress .... .... 17 

(d) The Self-sacrificing Fairy .... 5 

(e) The Prince and the Seven Fairies (a 

variant) .... .... .... 56 

(/) The Two Friends .... .... 19 

(g) The King and the Resourceful Chaste 

Woman .... ... .... 95 

1 9. Twin Brothers Type— 

(a) The Girl of the Woodlands, Her 

Brothers and the Rakshasa .... 38 

(b) The Loving Sister .... ... 2 

(c) The Self-sacrificing Fairy .... 5 

(d) The Seven Princes and the Fairies (a 

variant of above) .... .... 56 

(e) The Seven Princes, Their Only Sister 

and Her Cruel Sisters-in-Law (part). 85 

20. Two Sisters who envied their Youngest Sister — 

(a) The Princess and the Ponna Flowers. 16 

(b) The Princes, the Medicinal Leaves 

and the Muhurta .... .... 78 


A. Stories of the Exploits or Noodles 
I. Contest of Fools Type. — The Two Barbers 36 


■ XIX 


Rogue and Simpleton Type — 

Ref. No. 
to whole 

(c) The Brahmin, the 

Oilman and the 


(6) The Monkey, the Goat and the Work- 



Valiant Tailor Type — 

(a) The Woodseller 

and the Seven 


(6) The Simpleton, the 
Clever Mother 

Thieves and the 



Wonderful Fool Type. — The 

Simpleton, the 

Thieves and the Clever Mother 

.... .... 


B. Tales illustrative of Tribal or Caste 

1. Wise Men of Gotham Type : Ridicule of the neatherd caste- 

(а) The Milkman and the Ramayana 60 

(б) The Guru and the Simple-minded 

Neatherd .... .... .... 98 

2. Wise Men of Gotham Type : Misceiianeous — 

(a) The Imbecile and the Rats .... 25 

(b) The • Lame Man and the Blind 

Man .... .... .... 91 


A. Stories of Tribes or Families 

I. * 

(a) Characteristic Pride of the High Caste Lady — 
The Beggar and the Tactless Charitable 
Lady .... .... .... .... 88 


Ref. No. 
to whole 

B. Stories on the Religious Orders 

(as also religious Gods and Goddesses) 

1 . Middle Ages Type — 

(a) The Fakeer’s Daughter and the 

Wicked Queen 39 

(b) The Foolish Mendicant and the 

Sensible Lady .... .... 22 

2. Legends of Saints Type — 

(a) The Bhagatmaya Sadhu .... .... 31 

(b) Kabeerdass and Kalidass .... .... 42 

(c) The Guru, His Disciple, the Juggling- 

woman and the Chola King and 
Queen .... .... .... 100 

(d) The King and the Dervish .... 50 

(e) The Sage and the Would-Be Mother. 20 

(/) The True Recluse .... ... 27 

(g) The Faulty Brahmin ... .... 69 

(h) The Guru and the Simple-minded 

Neatherd ... .... .... 98 

C. Stories about Barbers 

1. Lucky and Unlucky Type.— The King and the 

Barber. .... .... .... .... 51 

2. Contented and Discontented Type. — The Two 

Barbers .... .... .... .... 36 

D. Anecdotes about Misers 

>• . , 

The Brahmin, the Goldsmith and the 

Image of Gold .... ..*. 81 



Ref. No. 
to whole 

E. Anecdotes about Co-Wives 

The Man. and His Two Wives .... 63 

F. Anecdotes about Trades 

(a) The Deceitful Weaver .... .... 61 

(b) The Brahmin, the Goldsmith and the 

Image of Gold .... .... 81 

G. Legends of Literary Men 

(a) The Shakespeare of India .. 24 

(b) Kabeerdass and Kalidass .... 42 

H. Legends of Gods and Goddesses 

(a) Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh (Why 

the Mogli Flower and the Lime dis- 
carded in Worship of Deities) .... 87 

(b) Ishvara (The King, the Whelp and 

the Minister) ... .... 10 

(c) Ishvara (The Haughty Man Humi- 

liated) .... .... .... 23 

(d) Kali (The Shakespeare of India) .... 24 

(e) Kali (The Two Friends) .... .... 19 

(/) Parvati and Parmeshwara (The 

Prince and the Deceitful Hospice- 
keeper) .... .... ... 43 

(g) Pilyarswami (The Melon-Planter and 

the Jackals) .. . .... 55 

(h) The Goddess and the King • • • 64 



(*) The Thousand-Eyed Mother 
(;) The Nanga Dev 

{k) The Vidatapurusha (The Robber, 
the Destiny- writer and the King). 
{1) Ganesha (Kuthuveluku and Poonga- 

A. Stories about Europeans 

I. * 

(fl) The Superiority of Englishmen, p. 140 
ih) The Englishman and His High 
Origin, p. 141 


A. Beast Stories and Apologues 

1 . Boasting Mule Type — 

(c) Ellayi and Mullayi 

(£>) The Old Woman and the Fop 

{c) The Tiger and the Ass 

2. Borrowed Plumes Type — Navlipitta and Pigli- 

3. The Ass, the Ape and the Mule Type — 

(а) The Story of Roloo and Mudhdhaila 

(б) The Man and His Very Unkind Wife 

4. The Country Man and the]Snake Type — 

(а) The Fox and the Ferryman 

(б) The Old Woman of the Sugar-cane 


5. The Traveller and the Bear : Tit for Tat Type — 

(а) The Lilliputian and His Field 

(б) The Melon>Planter and the Jackals. * 

Ref. No. 
to whole 



















Ref. No. 
to whole 

6. The Wind and the Sun Type — Agni and Varuna. 77 

7. The Wolf and the Lamb Type. — The Tiger and 

the Ass .... .... .... .... 83 

8. The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing Type— 

(a) The Crow and Its Young .... 52 

(b) The Girl of the Woodlands, Her 

Brothers and the Rakshasa .... 38 

9. Wood and Clown Type.— The Man, the Khadira 

Tree and the Axe .... .... .... 58 

B. Question-replying Stories Type 

(a) The Crow and Her Ninety Eggs .... IS 

(b) The Fly who forgot Her Name . .. 79 

C. Natural Products Origin explaining 
Stories Type 

(a) The Brahmin, the Tiger and the Ass 

(Origin of Wine) .... .... 14 

(b) The Daughter-in-Law, and the 

Mother-in-Law (Origin of Mush- 
room) .... .••. .... 86 

D. World Creation Stories Type 

(a) God, the Dog and the Cock .... 74 

(b) God and the Elephant .... .... 75 

(c) God and the Bull .... .... 76 


Page 17 



for princess read princesses. 

1 1 


1 1 


,, reproached read reproached him. 

1 } 


1 1 


,, whitted read whetted. 

1 > 


j ) 


,, taking read taken. 

1 1 


1 1 


,, cause read instrumental in effecting. 

1 1 



10 and 11 for Thus his wife was saved 7eai/ Thus 
was his wife saved. 





for Have read (I) have. 

» > 


1 » 


,, man’s that the Pativrata read that the 
man’s Pativrata, 

1 } 


» 1 


,, sublimary sublunary. 

f f 


J 1 


,, came the rain down came down the 


* 1 


1 ) 


,, Khadawand read Khudawand. 

j » 


> 1 


,, I shall read shall I 

1 1 


J I 


,, woman read woman of sweet features. 

1 1 


> I 


,, to the end read for the remaining part of. 

f f 


J 1 


,, the friendship of read friendship with. 

1 1 


1 1 


,, Soon one read Soon on. 





insert 64 between page — for. 



1 1 


for ‘ pativh'atas * read ‘ pativratas ’. 

1 1 


1 1 


n II II 11 

1 1 


1 1 


,, ‘ pativirata * read ‘ pativrata *. 

Heeramma and Venkataswami 


Folktales from India 


Once upon a time when Ammavaru, the goddess of* 
small-pox, had been making fearful havoc amongst the 
inhabitants of a certain town, the fond mother of an only 
son, in whom all her affections and hopes were centred, 
with a view to escape the wrath of the angry Mata, fled 
across hill and dale, wood and water, not knowing whi- 
ther she was fleeing— such was her fright — until, in a 
dense forest, she was met by an' old woman, who was no 
other than the goddess herself in disguise. Said the 
goddess : 

‘ Daughter, whither are you fleeing ? ’ 

‘ Mother, I have only this son whom you see here, 
and I am trying to escape from the wrath of the god- 
dess, who is devastating the whole town,’ replied the 
affrighted mother. 

Receiving this answer to her question and seeming 
not to care more about the woman’s flight, the old woman 
asked her to be kind enough to search for lice in her 
head, for, she added, she was very much pestered by 
them. The younger woman good-humouredly began to 
search for the lice, both the women squatting them- 
selves ofl the ground for the purpose, in the dishevelled 



hair of the old woman, when an extraordinary specta- 
cle presented itself — t;he old woman’s head was full of 
eyes ! Very much surprised, the young woman exclaimed : 
— ‘ Your head is full of eyes, mother ; may I know who 
you are ? ’ 

‘ Daughter,’ said the other, ‘ do you not know who I 
am ? I am the Thousand-eyed mother, and how can you 
think of escaping by flight from the vigilant watch of 
so many eyes ? ’ 

At this the young mother prostrated herself at the 
feet of the devi, and asked what should be done to save 
her only son, who was the object of her life. 

‘Return,’ said the goddess, ‘ to the town, and no harm 
will befall either your son or yourself.’ 

With these words the devi disappeared, and the woman 
and her son, who had thus ingratiated themselves into 
her favour, pursued their course back to the town. The 
goddess, true to her word, preserved them in the midst 
of the pestilence which raged on all sides, attacking all 
without any distinction. 


Once upon a time there lived a king, who had by way 
of issue, a son and a daughter by his first wife. The 
mother of the prince and princess died when they were 
young; and to add to their grief, the queen, whom their 
father married after the death of their loving mother, 
persecuted them with a hatred that rendered their position 
wellnigh unbearable. The sun could not go down with- 
out the lodgment by the stepmother with the King of 
some report or other against the juveniles for no fault 
of their own, except their existence on this earth in 



general ; and not being satisfied with what she thought 
were probably minor complaints, the cruel persecutor 
spoke thus to her husband one day : — 

‘ My Lord, it seems to me that your daughter is a bad 
character. Look, she has the appearance of pregnancy.’ 

The king heard the calumny and nodded his head as 
much as to say ‘ Yes,’ and thus afforded a fresh oppor- 
tunity for the further persecution of the prince and 
princess : so immersed was he in his new love and 
entangled in the wiles of his plotting wife. Far differ- 
ent was the case with the prince when he heard that the 
character of his sister, notwithstanding her tender 
years, was calumniated by the stepmother, for this so* 
exasperated him that he, taking his sister with him, left 
the palace of his father, who had now become a tool in 
the hands of his queen. 

Having left the palace the prince and the princess did 
not remain long in their father’s territory, but repaired to 
a distant country, being afraid of falling again into the 
clutches of their obdurate st^mother. There they 
lived without being persecuted, the prince given to the 
pleasures of the chase and leading the life of an inde- 
pendent country gentleman. On returning one day from 
one of his hunting expeditions, the prince saw a snake, 
after having regaled itself, about to enter the mouth of 
his sleeping sister. He at once cut short its career by a 
stroke of the scimitar which hung by his waist-belt, 
and without awakening his sister and telling her of 
what had happened, he threw away the dead reptile and 
thought within himself thus : — 

‘ Ah ! I now understand that this is the reptile that 
made my little sister appear pregnant and thus furnished 
a ground to our step-mother for calumniating the innocent 
girl, notwithstanding her tender years. This is thci 



reptile that created an inordinate hunger in my sister, as 
if she was a glutton ; and glutton, I know, she .is not.’ 

It chanced that the remains of the dead snake fell into 
one of the upper rooms of the mansion, and they grew 
into beautiful lilies of sweet fragrance. The prince came 
to where these were one day, and was very much 
surprised that the plants had grown in such a place 
spontaneously without being planted by him ; and 
inferring that some evil might befall him or his sister by 
reason of his having in his position this unwished for 
botanical treasure, probably surcharged with mischief, 
he always kept the room padlocked, keeping the key with 
him. But one day he left the key at home, and curiosity 
led the princess to open the door of this very room, 
where to her extreme joy, she found lilies of the first 
magnitude blossoming with flowers, with which she 
thought within herself to decorate the head of her 
brother one day. 

It was the wont of the princess to comb the hair of 
her brother occasionally, and one day, when the prince 
was taking his siesta, she combed his hair, oiled it, and 
thinking that something was wanting to impart beauty 
to the beautiful glossy j’et black hair, the delectable 
lilies with their sweet-scented flowers stood before her 
mind’s eye. On this without a second thought she stole 
away, without making any noise or awakening her brother 
to the room where the plants were, and fetched one flower. 
Hardly had the beautiful flower been put into the hair of 
the prince than he turned into a large snake and in this 
strange form wriggled out of the room. Very much 
troubled in spirit on account of the strange transformation 
of her brother due to the lily, the princess began to 
lament bitterly, and crying, ‘ Brother ! brother,’ followed 
the snake wherever it went. 



The snake very soon entered a dense forest, and 
thither too, the sister, unmindful of herself, followed. 
Hard by the forest was a mound of earth, which the 
reptile entered through one of the holes. The grief of 
the princess at this juncture was at its height, and her 
cries were heard for miles around. 

It so happened that a neighbouring king was then 
hunting in the forest, when his ears caught the cries of 
distress. Without losing a minute he summoned one of 
his servants and spoke to him thus : — 

‘ I hear the lamentation of a woman in distress in 
that direction. Go and ascertain the cause of it.’ 

The servant repaired to the spot whence the lamenta* 
tion came, approached the distracted fair lady, and re- 
spectfully enquired into the cause of her grief ; but 
eliciting no reply — so much was she under the power of 
the paroxysms of her grief — he went back to his master 
and reported the unsuccessful result of his errand. 

Thereupon the king himself, who was of a tender 
heart, went to where the princess was, consoled her, and 
assuaged her grief to a considerable extent ; yet his attempts 
to ascertain the cause of the grief were as futile as his 
servant’s, owing to the bewildered state of the mind of the 
princess, caused by extreme anguish at the loss to her of 
her brother, thus metamorphosed. But he took her to 
his dominions, where, under his kind treatment and after 
the lapse of time, her poignant grief subsided to some 
extent, when the king, finding her to be an accomplished 
lady and of royal blood, married her. What the grief was 
she did' not disclose, for a considerable time, to her hus- 
band, much less to others ; and it was only when she 
became a mother that she narrated to the king in detail 
the first misfortune of the loss of her only brother. ' On 
this the affectionate husband, who was very much 



affected by the recital, resolved within himself to relieve 
the anxiety of his beloved wife, and repaired, -followed 
by the queen, to the mound in the forest, and had it dug 
up, reaching the very bowels of the earth, when veritably 
a snake appeared. On the appearance of this reptile the 
sister with a significance, and as if by instinct, threw on it 
the lily, which she had treasured up all the long years 
since it fell off the head of her transformed brother oB 
that never-to-be-forgotten day. In a moment the 
prince, her brother, stood before her to her infinite joy, 
equally shared by her royal husband. Great was the 
rejoicing in the city when the rumour spread that the 
queen’s brother, who had been metamorphosed into a 
snake and for whom the queen had been stricken with 
grief for so long, had again taken human form. 


Once upon a time, in a certain country, there lived a king 
who had an only daughter. Her he loved passionately, 
for she was his only hope, as he had no son to continue 
the royal line. So to make up for the want of a son, 
the king deviated from the general rule and put his 
daughter to school as soon .as she began to understand, 
and spared neither labour nor monej^ in getting for her, 
as she progressed in her studies and her mind expanded 
with age till she could understand abstruse subjects, 
teachers from distant countries who were eminent in all 
the departments of knowledge. In course of time, under 
the instruction of these teachers, the princess became' 
proficient or seemed to be so in all the departments of 
knowledge. But in the domain of poetry, she had* shown 



an aptitude rivalling that of her teachers in versification. 
By the time her education might be said to be complete, 
she advanced towards womanhood and, with the consent 
of her royal father, she issued a proclamation to the effect 
that she would bestow her affections, irrespective of 
rank or caste, on any one who would recite one sloka 
composed by himself at each step of the flight of thirty 
steps leading to the princess’ palace, and five slokas at 
the place where the steps came to an end, with the stipu- 
lation that the theme of the last five slokas chould be 
original, i.e. that the subject of them was not to be met 
with in the books. 

Many were the princes and plebeians who tried their* 
luck in metrical composition in order to obtain the 
princess in marriage and failed. There was not a 
single exception, and so there was formed an impression 
in the mind of the princess that man is a useless being 
and quite inferior to the fair sex in point of intellec- 
tual attainment. To strengthen the impression it chanced 
that one day, when she was pulling off the skin of a 
plantain, a poor boy, who was passing by the palace, took 
up the plantain skin and ate it, evidently with the view 
of checking the pangs of hunger. At this the princess 
exclaimed : — 

‘ What ! Is the worth of man, who is said to make 
a great noise in the world, only such that he will eat the 
skin of a plantain thrown away by a woman ? ’ 

A bold maid, who had seen life, and had been in the 
service of the princess for a number of years, said at 
once in reply to the exclamation : — 

‘ Oh ! Princess, man should not be slightingly 
spoken of, and, who knows, the very boy you talk so 
lightly of might become your husband.’ 

The 'overbearing princess replied to the servant-maid 

8 , 


that the realization of her hope was impossible, though 
it might be within the bounds of possibility. 

This conversation was overheard by the poor boy, who 
had been the laughing-stock of the princess, as being in 
her opinion typical of man as apart from woman. 

The boy, who was impressionable and intelligent,, 
notwithstanding his extreme poverty, revolved in his 
mind the conversation he had heard, and at once made 
his way to an adjacent hermitage, and narrated the 
incident to the well-disposed gosains living there, who 
heard it with wrapt attention. In the end, he asked them 
what should be done to raise himself to such a pitch in 
intellectual attainment as to recite the stipulated thirt;^- 
five stanzas, and to marry the very princess who had 
despised him, so that he might show the fallacy in the 
princess’ argument that man is inferior to woman. 

Being pleased with the boy’s simple narrative, and 
still more so the ambition displayed under his rags and 
tatters, the gosains, to the best of their ability, gave the 
boy a sound liberal education, in which prominence was 
given to metrical composition. On the completion of this 
education, this favoured protege of the gosains studied 
the best models . of poetry in order to effectually tame 
the princess’ pride by rivalling her in poesy, marriage 
with her being regarded as of secondary importance. 

Fortified thus by knowledge, the lad composed 
thirty-five stanzas, into the last five of which he skil- 
fully introduced words signifying pepper, aniseed, 
cumin-seeds, mustard and durhha grass (Agrostis linearis) 
to impart originality to them as required in the royal 
proclamation. So one day, followed by his friends the 
gosains, he went to the royal court, announced his busi- 
ness, recited one stanza at each of the flight of thirty 
steps, approaching the princess’ palace and five on an 


original theme at the place where the approaches ended. 
Thus was won the princess to the great joy of all who 
regarded her as invincible in her special line. 

In accordance with the promise made in the procla- 
mation, the marriage of the princess with the ripe scholar 
who had won her by his own abilities, was celebrated in 
due time, and when the princess was about to be led to 
the nuptial couch the bold maid-servant, who was an 
advocate of the superiority of man, as we have already 
seen, pointed out to her mistress that the very boy whom 
she had despised had now become her’ husband. 

On this the imperious pedant committed suicide by 
falling on a sword. 


ungratefuj. king 

Once upon a time in a certain country there lived a king 
who had an able minister. The minister managed the 
affairs of the State so well, and was so just in his deal- 
ings as a public man that none dare cast reflections or 
heap reproaches upon him. Afraid of his popularity, his 
royal master sought an occasion to find fault with the 
minister so that he might destroy his reputation and 
even himself. 

Accordingly the king summoned his minister one day 
and gave him a pearl of great price for safe custody, 
stipulating that the minister should return the valuable 
pearl whenever his royal master desired it. In giving 
the pearl into the minister’s keeping, the king entertained 
the hope of getting it back furtively, and thus gaining 
the opportunity of finding fault with him that he 



The minister took the pearl and gave it to his wife, 
asking her to keep it carefully, but in the meantime, 
the king employed every means, false or foul, to become 
possessed of the pearl. For this purpose he made a 
serving-woman get herself engaged under the minister’s 
wife. In course of time this serving-woman ingratiated 
herself into the favour of the minister’s wife, and one 
day asked her mistress to array herself in all her para- 
phernalia, for she said she was very anxious to see how 
her mistress looked when thus bedecked. 

The minister’s wife, though vain, was ignorant of the 
tricks of the, world ; so she dressed herself in her best 
robes and adorned her person with very valuable trinkets 
of exquisite workmanship and showed herself to the 
deceitful servant-woman. The woman, on looking at 
the minister’s wife, at once said : — 

‘ Madam, you look beautiful in the apparel and 
ornaments you now wear, but an additional beauty would 
be imparted to you if you would ornament your person 
with the pearl belonging to the king, which you have 
now in your keeping.’ 

Flattered thus, the vain lady at once unlocked a 
casket and out of it took the pearl that was reposing 
there, and with it further adorned her already much- 
adorned person. On this she received a profusion of 
praise from the serving-woman, and exulting in the 
promises lavished on her she became unmindful of 
her personal adornments. This gave the serving-woman 
the opportunity she wanted to carry off the pearl to 
the palace. 

The Raja, on receiving the pearl, had it thrown into 
the deep waters of the blue sea, and the next day called 
upon his minister to return the object of great price en- 
trusted to him for safe keeping. The minister went to his 


. 11 

mansion and asked his wife to bring the pearl which he 
had given her to keep. She searched amongst the caskets 
of jewellery, and in the thousand and one folds of her 
robes, but all to no purpose ; for how could she get what 
had been removed from her without her knowledge and 
by sheer craft ? 

Not blaming his wife, but cursing his own fate, the 
minister reported the disappearance of the pearl to the 
king who, expecting as much, gave him a week’s time for 
the production of the pearl, failing which the minister 
was to suffer the extreme penalty of the law. The 
minister feeling that it was not possible to find the lost 
pearl, and that in consequence his end had approached,* 
sold off his vast landed estates, and with the proceeds of 
these and with the money he had in hand gave grand 
feasts and magnificent boisterous dances, enjoying him- 
self greatly, though fully knowing that he was soon to 

On the last of the seven days’ time given him, he 
called his wife and said ; — ‘ My love, I am now going 
to the seashore with fishing-tackle to fish, and you 
must cook the fish I shall bring. For, before I die 
to-morrow, I wish to eat a fish dish specially prepared 
by your loving hands.’ With these words the minister 
went to the seashore and in due time returned with 
only one fish. This he gave to his wife and went to 
enjoy the company of his friends for the last time. 

His wife, who was heavy at heart for her husband was 
to die the morrow, ripped open the belly of the fish in 
order to dress it, when to her amazement, she found a 
pearl. She recognized it to be the one which her 
husband had given her, for which the minister was to 
suffer capital punishment the next day. As soon as the 
preparation of the dish was over, she dressed herself in 



her best garments, decked herself in all her silver and 
gold ornaments and anxiously awaited her husband. 

In due course the minister returned. Struck with the 
change in his wife — a beaming face and noble attire as 
contrasted with her rueful countenance and careless dress 
since her husband’s doom — he said in an angry and sar- 
castic tone (for in a moment of weakness like this the 
thought of his approaching end rather unmanned him, 
though he had tried to banish in pleasure the terrors of 
death): — 

‘ I am to be taken to the gallows to-morrow and you 
are in jubilant spirit ? Your happy countenance, your 
dress and ornaments are visible signs of it — as if I would 
remain with you for many a long year and not for a 
day only.’ 

Oh dear lord,’ she cried, ‘ do not be sorrowful. 
There is now no cause for sorrow, for God has removed it 
from us. Take your meal and satisfy yourself, and 
I shall explain all. So replied the wife, and after 
ministering to her husband’s wants, she told him how she 
had in a miraculous manner come by the pearl. She 
showed it to him. He was overjoyed and thanked 

On the last day for the production of the pearl, the 
Raja’s servants came to the minister’s mansion with the 
message that his presence was required at court. The 
minister, however, was in no hurry, but about four o’clock 
in the afternoon, after taking a nap and a light meal, 
he went to court, and on the King’s asking for the pearl, 
‘ Here it is,’ said the minister, producing the valuable 
^hell. He then left the court abruptly to the great chag- 
rin of the bad-hearted King, and not only that, he left 
the kingdom to seek his fortune 





Once upon a time, in a certain country there lived a king 
who had seven sons, all advancing or advanced towards 
manhood. I he father loved the princes very tenderly j 
so, when he learned of their fifm determination to see the 
world, he addressed them thus : — 

‘ My beloved sons, with great reluctance I permit 
you to see the world in order to gain experience of it, or, 
to use your own words, to put a finishing touch to your 
high and manly accomplishments as befitting nobles of 
the first order. But for your own welfare, I cannot 
refrain from tendering you a piece of advice, viz., that 
you should go in the seven directions ; but under no 
circumstances make the slightest acquaintance with the 
eighth. For in connection with that direction 1 have 
heard thrilling accounts that have made my hair to 
stand on end.’ 

The princes travelled in the seven directions, and 
found the countries traversed as uninteresting as they 
were devoid of adventures— adventures which would at 
least compensate for their trouble ; so, consulting amongst 
themselves, and setting aside the advice of their father, 
they resolved to extend their travels in the eighth 
direction also. 

In their travels in the eighth direction the Tirothers were 
enchanted with the varied scenery of the pleasant country, 
the sweet valleys covered with verdure, the distant blue 
mountains of every imaginable altitude, with the primeval 
forest abounding in trees — evergreen and decidious — 

' Though no doubt ' improvgd ’ by the English rendering given it by the 
recorder. <his is a remarkable tale, quite out of the ordinary run of Indian 
folktales. — Editor, Indian Antiquary. 

14 heeramma and venkataswami or 

of thick foliage, resounding with the melodious notes 
of some of Nature’s famous songstresses, with the 
beautiful sheets and wide expanses of limpid waters, with 
artistic orchards of luscious fruits and delectable gardens 
of shrubs and odoriferous plants, carrying through the 
agency of the wind for miles around sweet fragrance 
from their chalices, side ^by side with the charmingly 
beautiful harmonies of music that emanate from the eighth 
direction in full volume of sound ; and it was by these 
charmingly beautiful strains of music, resembling those of 
the Apsaras of the Indra’s heavens above, that the 
brothers were bewitched. So, with a view to hnd out 
Whence they came or who shared in them, the intrepid 
travellers went to the furthermost end of the eighth direc- 
tion, and to their great surprise discovered there a magni- 
ficent abode of fairies, which was responsible for the 
delicious music, with which our heroes, being friends of 
that fine art, were so delighted. 

The inmates of this solitary magnificent abode, who 
were seven fairies of great personal beauty, and whom 
the brothers found to be the participators in the music, 
received the princes with every mark of kindness, and the 
latter inferring at once from the outward signs that the 
former were greatly in love with them, and harbouring no 
suspicions of danger arising from that quarter, returned 
the love, and made them their consorts by mutual agree- 
ment. For some days the princes lived with the fairies 
in great amity, enjoying ambrosial viands, delicious 
drinks — hot and cold — melodious music — vocal and 
instrumental, scented baths, and wearing the finest, 
lightest and the most valuable of clothing. 

But one day the youngest of the princes observed that 
his wife — the youngest fairy — had turned her back 
and was weeping bitterly, while taking her dinner. For 



some reason or other he did not ask his wife about the 
matter, neither did he ascertain the cause of it from other 
sources. But when this continued for three or four days, 
the husband asked his brothers in a general sort of way, 
and at the same time without mistrusting his fairy wife, 
whether their wives also wept, as his did. On receiving 
a reply in the negative, he asked the fairy one day as to 
the cause of her sorrow. 

‘ I am sorry for you,’ she replied, ‘ because I have a 
great love for you. And the day is approaching when you 
will be killed along with your brothers, and this will 
happen on the occasion of a festival amongst us fairies, 
which is fast approaching.’ 

The prince narrated what he had heard to his brothers, 
who, realizing that they had fallen into dangerous hands, 
advised him, for their common safety, to ask the fairy 
what should be done to avert this catastrophe. 

He accordingly asked, and the fairy, possessing a 
very kind heart, replied : — 

‘My lord, I advise you,, as also ask you to tell 
your brothers to show signs of extreme disgust or dis- 
contentment (such as, amongst others, of rending your 
clothes, throwing your turbans to the ground, etc.), to 
charge the fairies with inattention, to raise complaints on 
every possible occasion in the matter of viands, drinks, 
baths and wearing apparel, and most important of all 
to break the legs of your horses without the knowledge 
of the fairies. On this the fairies will press to know 
the reason of your general discontent, and then you should 
tell them in detail of your being displeased with them in 
every way and also impress on them the fact, that 
nothing short of those horses that neigh in the middle of 
the night will satisfy you by way of compensation 
for the 'Unrivalled steeds incapacitated by the breaking 



of their legs and now in a dying state. It is by possess- 
ing these wonderful animals, which have the power of 
saving those riding on them in an emergency, that you 
will set yourself free from the calamity that is overhang- 
ing you. Thus I advise for your own preservation and 
for the preservation of my lord’s brothers, and in so 
doing I am endangering myself it is true, but I do not 
consider it a danger if my sweet love and his 
beloved blood relations are saved from destruction by 
the sacrifice of my frail self.’ 

The husband was extremely pleased with the advice 
of his wife, marked by the ring of sincerity, truth and 
^rue love, and communicated it to his brothers. 

The brothers did as advised to the very letter ; and 
the fairies, coming to know of the grievances of the 
princes which made them discontented, promised to 
remedy them, and also promised to give the horses, 
distinguished from ordinary animals by neighing in the 
middle of the night, on the festival day which was 

Thou'nh the fairies promised to give the horses, they 
wondered as to which amongst them could have revealed 
the secret about these mysterious animals, which they 
thought they only knew ; and suspicion with justice fell 
on the youngest fairy, whose kindliness of heart the 
sisters were aware of, as distinguished from their own 
relentless ones. This suspicion the six sisters locked in 
their breasts. 

In due time the festival of the fairies came, and 
on the festival day the seven sisters took luxurious baths, 
put on the finest garments of rainbow colours, and, 
providing themselves with the materials of worship, 
reached the steps of a temple not far off from their 
abode, when the youngest fairy was asked to hold the 



bridles of the wonderful animals which were at the time 
standing -ready in their trappings. The six elder sisters 
went inside and for some time remained in the place of 
worship ; but as they came out they ate up their 
youngest sister. The princes at this juncture were ready 
for any imaginable emergency, warned as they had been 
of the festival beforehand. They mounted the animals 
with • a heroic spirit, and instantly were the seven 
brothers divided from the weird land of the fairies by an 
interval of seven seas. 

Thus the seven heroes providentially escaped, through 
the' instrumentality of the steeds that had the power of 
saving those who were upon them at any cost, from the, 
cannibal fairies and arrived in a certain kingdom. 

The king, on hearing from the courtiers of the arrival 
in his country of miraculous horses in which he had no 
belief, sent for the owners of them, and in the first 
instance enquired who they were, and, on receiving a 
reply that they were common itinerant travellers, question- 
ed them no further as to their horses. 

But the king’s three daughters of great loveliness and 
refined accomplishments, with their true feminine dis- 
cernment, perceived in the young men no ordinary indivi- 
duals of plebeian blood, but either princes or sons of 
a royal race travelling in cognito in search of adventures, 
and believed at the same time that their horses were no 
ordinary animals. And, therefore, from the time the 
princes set foot in their court, the princess were enamour- 
ed of them, and, after the lapse of some time, obtained 
their parents’ consent to wed those three of the brothers, 
whom they liked most amongst the seven for qualities of 
head and heart. 

But the princes greatly objected to marry, for by 
the alliance they averred that three of them would lead a 



conjugal life, and the rest that of celibates ; and this 
state of things, they said, would not meet .with the 
approbation of the gods, not to speak of man. 

On hearing this, the king replied : — 

‘ My sons, I am pleased with what you say so 
sensibly, and propose a remedy for the matter. The 
remedy is, that a neighbouring king has four daughters, 
accomplished and of unrivalled beauty, whose hands, 
with the consent of their father, I shall ask and obtain for 
four of you, and solemnize the marriage simultaneously 
with the marriage of three of your brothers with my own 
three daughters-’ 

In due course, the bridal of the princes had been 
celebrated with pomp and glory, befitting grand persons. 
For a considerable time, the princes lived in every luxury, 
ease and enjoyment with their spouses of unsullied 
purity, in the kingdom of their respective fathers-in-law. 
But one day they actually remembered their parents, and 
quick as thought asked their fathers-in-law concerning 
such and such a kingdom, admitting for the first time to 
the extreme satisfaction and bewilderment of the latter 
that they were the sons of the by no means minor king 
who dwelt there. The princes then made preparations 
to go, and, selecting an auspicious day, started amidst 
the blessings of their new relatives, followed by their 
wives, their wonderful horses, and their retinue, and 
reached their fatherland. 

Their father and mother, who were almost blinded 
by constant weeping for their sons whom they thought to 
be lost, were now very much gratified to see them safe 
and sound once more in their midst ; but the former, 
notwithstanding the gratification, had a great mind to 
inflict condign punishment, and it was only when his 
wife brought to his notice their extreme dutifulness to 



him, excepting this breach, that he excused them half- 
heartedly. Yet he could not refrain from expressing 
his regret that they should have set aside his advice, 
and thus reduced him and their mother to mere skele- 


Once upon a time, in a certain country, there lived a 
king, who was notorious for his stinginess. Being no 
friend even to almsgiving in the abstract, he went so far 
as to tell his wife to see that not a single ear of corn 
went beyond the threshold ; much less was she ever to 
give a handful of rice, wheat, or any of the pulses to the 
poorest human being out of the granary. The king was 
as niggardly in his own household as he was uncharitable 
to others ; and the daily rations for himself and his wife 
were a ser of wheat flour. This the queen, following the 
instructions of her lord, used to give, after carefully 
weighing it, to a maid-servant to make cakes with ; and 
the cakes were weighed after they had been baked, so 
that it might be known for certain that no flour, not even 
a grain, had been pilfered. 

Now the maid, who used to cook the meals for the 
king and queen, was of a charitable disposition by 
nature ; so, notwithstanding the weighment of the flour in 
the first instance, and then of the cakes when baked, she 
used to pilfer one-eighth ser of the flour, putting in its 
place an exactly similar amount of fine firewood ashes. 
With what she pilfered she used to make a cake, baking 
it along with the others, and passing it through a drain 
to a needy beggar, who was the recipient of her charity 
in this manner for a number of years. 

26 heefamma and venkataswami or 

Now a foreign potentate, who had had an eye on the 
possessions of the king for several years, appealed with 
great suddenness one day before the gates of the royal 
castle, and began operations for taking it. His forces 
were so superior that the castle seemed to be lost, when 
there arose before the king’s vision, standing upright, an 
innumerable number of chapdtis (cakes), close to one 
pother, which shielded the king, and prevented his 
small force from being overwhelmed by the enemy. Thus 
was the kingdom saved, which, had it not been for the 
protection of his small army in this miraculous manner, 
would have been lost to the king. The vision of the 
•protecting cakes remained in the king’s mind for many a 
day ; so, one day, he sent for his queen and asked her 
what the vision meant. She could not explain the 
matter ; so the king turned to the maid-servant who 
cooked meals for him, and enquired of her. Before 
explaining anything, she asked for the liberty of speech, 
and when this was granted, the maid, preparing herself 
for either good or evil, made a clean breast of the 
whole affair — how she used to pilfer the wheat flour, 
prepare a cake of it, and pass it through a drain 
to a beggar. 

It was ‘ those cakes,’ the agitated damsel added, ‘ that 
saved you, O king, from the invaders ; for the charity, 
though I was the humble instrument of it, was solely and 
wholly yours, and you have reaped the benefit, not only 
fof yourself, but even more for our sake — for servants, 
subjects, and all.’ 

Pleased with the sagacity of the maid-servant, as also 
with her eloquent address, he made her his queen, 
making the former queen change places with her. The 
king did thus for the reason that she should have exer- 
cised her faculty of understanding and discriihinated 

Folktales from india 


between right and wrong, though he had, in an evil hour, 
laid upoij her the injunction not to be charitable. 

It need not be said that the king was ever afterwards 
charitable. Nay, his name became proverbial, and his 
newly-made queen found wider scope in her new affluent 
position as queen for the exercise of her favourite virtue. 


Once upon a lime in a certain country there lived in 
great amity the son of a carpenter, the son of the KoLwal, 
the son of the minister, and the son of the king. Finding 
the absence of adventures in their own country irksome 
they resolved amongst themselves to go in search of them 
abroad. So in due course they started, reaching an out- 
of-the-way place on the first evening, llere, for their 
safety, they agreed amongst themselves to keep watch 
during the night by turns. 

The carpenter’s son kept the first watch. But hardly 
had he begun his watch when there appeared near him a 
beautiful young woman, making a musical sound by the 
jingling of silver bells which adorned her ankles. On 
finding, however, the watcher awake, she retreated a 
hundred yards in the twinkling of an eye. On this the 
carpenter’s son spoke within himself thus : ‘ Oh ! what 
have I done ? By my vigilance I have been the cause at 
this time of night of driving away one — it may be a 
sister or a daughter-in-law standing perhaps in need of 
human help in this unfrequented desert.’ 

The woman, divining these thoughts, retraced her 
steps, and taking her seat gracefully on the watcher’s 
knee, carried on a loving conversation ; but as soon as 
he became sleepy, she ate him up and his steed together 
with the saddle, bridle and all. 


It was now the turn of the KotwaVs son to keep the 
second watch. When he went to his post at the allotted 
time he did not find the carpenter’s son there. He 
inwardly reproached for having run away and jeopardiz- 
ing his companions, remarked that the culprit’s relatives 
should be hanged for this breach of faith. 

As in the case of the carpenter’s son, the woman with 
the jingling ornaments came near the KotwaVs son, and, 
on finding him awake, quick as thought went back a 
hundred yards. But when there came into his mind 
kindly thoughts, the captivating seducer, divining them, 
retraced her steps, and coining up to the KotwaVs son, 
§at on his knee, and began talking pleasantly. Hardly had 
the watcher began to feel sleepy, when she gulped him 
down, and also his steed, saddle and bridle, for she was 
an ogress. 

It was now the turn of the minister’s son to watch. 
On commencing his watch, he noticed the absence of 
both his predecessors and reproached his faithless com- 
panions to himself for having deserted the prince, 
and at the same time uttered a threat that he would get 
both the culprits’ relatives hanged for this breach of faith. 
But then the same beautiful woman approached, and, 
on finding the minister’s son awake, went back a hundred 
yards in the twinkling of an eye. When, however, 
the minister’s son began to be sorry for being the cause 
of driving away a woman at such a time of night in a 
wild country, the fair creature, retracing her steps, came 
to him, and gracefully sitting down upon his knee, began 
to speak the sweet language of love. But the moment 
the watcher felt sleepy, he was eaten up, his steed 
sharing the same fate, together with the saddle and the 

The watch of the king’s son followed that 'of the 



minister’s son. On finding himself alone and deserted 
a.s it seemed .by his three companions, he exclaimed : — 

‘ I do not know what value my friends have put upon 
their lives, which are at the best only precarious ; but by 
deserting me in spite of their profession of love, they have 
surely held their lives dear.’ 

Hardly was this exclamation uttered when the king’s 
son espied the beautiful young woman coming towards 
him, who, as before in the twinkling of an eye, retreated 
a hundred yards on seeing him awake. ‘ Men grow by 
years, but princes grow by days ’, runs the proverb ; 
so the prince at once suspected foul play. For he rea- 
soned : — how could a woman cover a hundred yards in* 
the twinkling of an eye, unless she be some- Bala or evil 
spirit ? With this in his mind, he troubled by his loneli- 
ness at once climbed a tree. The ogress knew that she 
was discovered, but, taking advantage of the prince’s 
solitary position, approached the tree and began to shake 
it, having first whitted her appetite on the steed tethered 
close by to a stake. But the prince, firmly planted on 
one of the uppermost branches, would not come down j 
while the ogress sat at the base of the tree, expecting 
the climber every moment to come down, or fall a prey to 
her out of sheer fright. 

Now it so happened that at this time a king arrived 
in that desert country in the course of his travels with a 
large retinue of followers, some of whom were despatched 
to various parts in search of water. Some of these, 
conring to the tree where the prince was, asked him to 
come down. 

‘ Oh no, I will not come down, for I am sure 
to be eaten by the woman whom you see sitting below,’ 
was the reply that descended in clear tones from one of 
the uppermost branches of the tree. 



On this the followers turned to the woman for an 
explanation. She had replied that she was waiting for 
her insane husband to come down, and then there came 
from the top of the tree the question — what had become 
of the climber’s three companions — the carpenter’s son, 
the KotivaVs son, and the minister’s son, besides their 
steeds and his own steed ? She replied reasonably 
enough that they must have gone to slake their thirst, 
and thus the followers of the king believed in the 
insanity of the prince. Pleased with the beauty of the 
woman, they asked her whether she would go with them 
for safety to their king, as she would be helpless 
•in such a wild country with an insane husband. After 
slightly demurring, not to arouse suspicion, she 
consented, and so they took her in a palanquin to their 

In due course, the palanquin was set down in the 
camp of the king, who was exceedingly glad to behold 
so fair a person emerge from it. Sympathizing with her, 
because of her insane husband, and offering her his 
protection, he conceived a violent passion for the 
woman ; and it need hardly be said that the ogress, 
before long, became one of the favourite queens. Her 
loving husband, on reaching his own country, con- 
structed for her specially a sumptuous palace. 

The ogress-queen, exulting in the fact that there 
was an unlimited number of elephants, camels and 
horses belonging to the king, to satisfy her instinctive 
hunger, began swallowing them up night after night. 
The disappearance of the great beasts was so rapid, that 
the king was in a quandary as to how to apprehend the 
robber who was so quickly making away with his 
property. So he issued a proclamation promising a 
handsome reward to any one who should give information 



that would lead to the detection of the crime, which 
had for so long a time evaded all vigilance. 

The reading of the proclamation in the vicinity of 
the ogress-queen’s palace attracted her attention, and 
sending for one of the officials concerned, she informed 
him that she was in a position to give the information 
required, and hence was anxious to see the king without 
delay. With great haste came the king, whom the 
ogress at once took to the chief queen’s palace. The 
unfortunate woman’s cot was removed from her sleeping 
apartment, and men were employed to dig the ground 
underneath it ; when lo and behold, the bones of 
elephants, horses and camels were found ! Now through 
a stratagem of the ogress-queen, the bones had found 
their way there without the knowledge of any one — 
either of the chief queen or of her maid-servants — and 
seemed to prove in the clearest way that the chief queen, 
though then carrying a babe in her womb, subsisted on 
huge beasts, as if she were an ogress. The king on this 
evidence, without feeling the slightest compassion for 
his queen and her unborn babe, ordered her to be 
taken to a forest and then and there beheaded. 

In due course, the executioners came and took her to 
the forest, but when they unsheathed their swords to 
behead so delicate a creature in accordance with the royal 
mandate, their courage failed them. So putting back 
the swords into the scabbards, the executioners, whose 
hearts resembled not the black stony heart of their king, 
killed a doe and took its eyes to the king, saying that 
His Majesty’s commands had been obeyed, and that 
these were the signs. 

In the forest, where she was left to live as best she 
could without revealing her identity, the Rani built 
herself a hut, in which she sustained life on the fruit 



and berries growing around her, and in course of time 
gave birth to a male child. The child grew as the 
years advanced, and the mother used to make for him, 
out of shreds from her sari, slings with which, in his 
tiny hands, he used to bring down small game, such as 
birds and sometimes harts and roes. But how could 
they maintain themselves on berries and fruits and occa- 
sional small game ? 

So the young prince said to the mother one day : — 

‘ Mother, I hear of a sadabarth, and I am anxious to 
go.’ His mother consented, and, at the time of his 
departure, put a ruby in his liingoti or loin-cloth, to see 
whether this would effect a meeting between herself and 
her husband the king, or whether the latter would make 
out the prince from his royal appearance. 

While receiving his share at the sadabarth, the ruby 
fell out of the boy’s loin-cloth, and a priest stooping 
down picked it up, and would not restore it, although 
the youthful owner persisted in demanding it. Seeing the 
determination of the child to have his lawful property, 
the priest gave it over to the king, who questioned the 
child as to how he came by such a gem when the 
necessaries of life were wanting to him. 

But the only answer he received was — ‘Give me 
the ruby, give me the ruby.’ With a view to test 
whether the precious stone actually belonged to the boy, 
the king put it in a tray along with other precious gems, 
and told the tiny owner to distinguish it from others.’ 

‘ You are a king, and hence can distinguish 
precious stones. I can, too ’ ! Saying this the boy went 
to the tray, and picked out his lal (ruby), exclaiming a 
the same time that he would fill a tank with such lals 
in six months, if the king would fill a similar tank with 
pearls. This wager was accepted by the king. 



Having received his dole, the young prince returned 
to his mother’s hut, and, on giving it to her, told of the 
wager. She was exceedingly sorry, and reproached 
herself for having, in an evil hour, put the ruby in the 
boy’s loin-cloth. But no persuasion could deter the 
young man from going in search of lals in accordance 
with the wager laid. 

Accordingly he started, and in the first stage of his 
journey slept underneath a tree having first killed with 
his sword a huge snake, which, on his arrival, was in 
the act of running up the tree. 

Now on one of the topmost branches of the tree was 
the nest of a pair of white crows. These birds have* 
lost their offspring from year to year : and the mother- 
bird returning home that day with food for the last 
hatched brood, saw the young man sound asleep under- 
neath the tree, and, taking him to be an enemy who had 
purloined her progeny year after year, was on the 
point of killing him, when the young ones, who had 
been eye-witnesses of the snake incident, prayed to God 
for speech for one moment. Their prayer was granted, 
and they told their mother how much they owed to the 
youth for having snatched them from the jaws of death. 

Pleased with the young prince, the hen-bird and her 
mate, who had also returned in time to hear the story, 
treated him with every mark of kindness, and lovingly 
asked him his errand. As soon as they knew that he 
was in search of lals, they promised to take him to 
Lalan, Princess of Rubies, who, though not accessible 
to man, could alone, they said, give him the precious 
gems he was in quest of. 

As promised, the female bird took the young prince 
on her wings, and set him down in the palace of Lalan 
in far off land, the male bird shading him from the 


rays of the sun with its wings all the way. On taking 
leave of the saviour of their progeny, the birds gave him 
a feather and spoke thus : — 

‘ If you are in need of our service at any time, 
just turn this feather over a fire for a few seconds, 
having first put a little frankincense into the fire, and 
then we shall be present, and do your bidding.’ 

The princess, who was in a cage transformed into a 
bird, on seeing the prince, the first human being who 
had ever arrived at the palace, at once exclaimed : — 
‘ Oh, what have you done, young man ? Why did you 
come here ? You must thank your good fortune in not 
‘finding the ogre at this moment, or else he would 
have made a meal of you.’ 

Hardly were the words uttered, when the young man 
was turned into a fly and put on the wall, and immedi- 
ately appeared the ogre in a great rage exclaiming, ‘ 1 
smell a man, I smell a man.’ 

‘ Do not be disquieted, father. There was no one 
here in your absence, and you see me as you left me in 
the cage,’ replied the bird from the cage. 

On this the rakhas was pacified, and made the 
princess to take her natural form by the waving of 
his golden magic sword, after which she ministered to 
his wants. 

For six months, short of six days, the princess treated 
the prince with every mark of kindness, but making him 
resume human shape only in the absence of the ogre. 
One day he told her that he had remained long enough, 
and was, therefore, very anxious to depart, but wished 
that she should ask the ogre wherein his life lay. She 
accordingly, on a day when he was extremely pleased 
with her, thus spoke to her ogre-father : — 

‘ Father, father, will you tell me where your ‘life is ? 


. 29 

For I am afraid of what will become of me when you are 
dead.’ • 

‘ Do not be anxious, my child,’ replied the ogre, ‘ for 
my life is very safe, and not accessible to any human 
being. It is in the form of a parrot, hung high up to an 
iron shaft, in the middle of the waters of the seven and 
seven seas, which no man hath crossed. When the neck 
of this bird is wrung, then only shall I die, and not till 

Having heard these words, the prince summoned his 
kind friends, the white crows, with the aid of the feather, 
and, sitting on the wings of the hen while the cock shaded 
him by its wings from the piercing rays of the sun^ 
crossed the seven seas, and espying the other seven seas, 
discovered just in the middle of them an iron column to 
which was suspended a cage with a bird in it. The 
prince at once climbed the column, took out the parrot, 
broke its legs, pulled away its wings, and then wrung its 
neck. This being done, he returned to Lalan’s palace, 
which he had left without telling her, and on being in- 
formed that her ogre-father was killed, she set up a loud 
lamentation and began to fill the earth and heaven with 
her wailing. 

The prince consoled the princess in her affliction, and 
before long threw a little frankincense on the fire and 
turned over it the magic feather and so summoned his 
constant friends, the white crows, and, sitting on 
their wings with Lalan, he reached their home, where, 
after spending a few days with great pleasure amidst 
their progeny and in their company, he bade a farewell 
to the friendly birds and started for the hut of his mother 
who received him and Lalan. Here the prince regretted 
that he should have in his haste forgotten to bring the 
lals, for which purpose he had gone to the very distant 



country, and was bent upon going again to fetch them for 
the wager’s sake. 

‘ Do not be sorry,’ said the princess, ‘ and I see no 
need why you should go back to the far off land. In 
order to get the object of your desire you have only to 
twist my neck a little, after transforming me into a bird 
as my ogre-father used to do by waving in a particular 
manner his golden sword, which I have luckily brought 
with me. When I shed tears, from the pain you will 
give me, I will drop in lals.' 

Accordingly, changing the princess into a bird, the 
prince went to the capital of the king with whom he had 
laid the wager. He placed the bird in a prominent posi- 
tion in the centre of the tank, and after a slight twist of 
its neck, lo and behold ! the tears it shed were changed 
into rubies, so many as to fill up the tank quite to the brim 
and over the masonry banks. 

While the tank of lals was filled thus to over- 
flowing, the tank of pearls was not half filled, though 
hundreds of cartful of pearls had emptied their contents 
into it. 

Seeing that his reputation was at stake, and his wager 
lost, the Raja went to the residence of the young man in 
the forest privately, and acknowledged him the winner 
of the wager ; and, in so doing, saw and recognized his 
old Rani. At her feet he fell, and asked her pardon for 
the grievous mistake he had made in sending her away 
to the forest. The falseness of the ogre-queen was duly 
proved later on, and she was ordered to be burnt in a 
lime-kiln when only the king came to know to his extreme 
regret of the swallowing by her of his early friends — the 
carpenter’s son, the KotwaVs son and the minister’s son 
who with him formed the quartette and gone abroad in 
search of adventures. 


Taking his wife and son, whom he embraced with 
great affection, the king reached his home and there 
reigned with his wife, while his son, united in marriage to 
Lalan, who was no other than the daughter of a kin< 
stolen by the ogre when an infant, dwelt with them. 


Once upon a time in a certain country there lived a 
king. One day, while taking his siesta after the dis- 
charge of the affairs of State, he dreamt that a horse came 
into the gujri, and that he would purchase it. With a 
view to testing the truthfulness of the dream, the king* 
entered the market-place that evening, and found a 
beautiful, spirited horse, standing there. He asked the 
owner whether he would part with the animal, and, 
receiving a negative reply, he left the place for his 

The horse now took to refusing his food, and on 
seeing this, the owner thought within himself : — ‘Several 
kings asked me to part with this animal, and I would 
not. Yet for all that he never refused his food before. 
I am sore afraid that I may lose the horse, so I 
had better part with him to the first buyer.’ A few days 
after this the owner of the horse, who was a merchant, 
was requested to be present in connection with some 
commercial transactions in the same market-place where 
the king had asked whether the animal was for sale. 

The king again dreamt that the horse had come, 
and that he. should buy him at any cost. Accordingly, 
on his way home, he went to the gujri and found the 
animal. Giving the merchant the two lakhs of rupees 
which he demanded for the animal, he got possession 
of him. 


Still the horse would not touch his fodder, even 
when it was carried by the king himself or his queen 
in turns. It was only when the king’s daughter took 
and placed it before the animal that he would eat it. 
Struck with the affinity which existed between the 
princess and the horse, the king cast dice, and found out 
that the beautiful young lady was destined to become the 
bride of the animal. In due course, therefore, the 
father married his daughter to the horse and gave them 
apartments near the palace. 

Now the horse was no other than Jambhu Raja 
changed into this form. At night he used to divest 
himself of his horse-covering and pass his time in the 
company of his wife without her knosvledge ! But this 
state of things could not last long, for she began to feel 
suspicious that her husband was not really a horse, 
so one night she pretended to be asleep, and saw her 
husband take off his horse-covering. She became 
possessed of it with great skill, set it on fire, and 
broke the spell to the immense joy of her parents. 

In due course Jambhu Raja had a palace constructed 
close to the royal residence of his father-in-law. There, 
in the midst of pleasure and comfort, he lived, loving 
and loved by his wife, and performing deeds of kindness 
to mankind. In his absence his two sisters sent by their 
mother came to the palace disguised, the one as a needle- 
seller and the other as a bangle-seller. In the midst of 
their duty they asked the Rani her husband’s name, 
though they knew that she was their brother’s wife. As 
she did not know it, she promised to tell them on another 
occasion. After the lapse of two or three days they came 
again. In the course of their conversation, naturally 
and without arousing any suspicion, they asked the Rani 
her husband’s name. On this she frankly admrtted that 



she had entirely forgotten to ask about it. Thereupon 
the sisters gave her a needle telling her to stick it in her 
towel, so that when she wiped her face with it in the 
morning, the needle would come in contact with her 
face and she would be reminded at once. It need 
hardly be said that the needle pricked the Rani’s face 
the next morning, whereupon she ran to her husband 
and asked him his name. 

‘ You will repent of it,’ said the husband. 

‘ No,’ replied the wife. 

‘ Do you really ask my name ? ’ again said the 

‘ Yes ’ returned the wife. 

On hearing this the Raja ran to the brink of the river 
close by. Hardly had he uttered his name ‘ Jambhu Raja 
than he disappeared into the waters below. In due course 
he returned to his parents’ home, but complained of heat 
like burning-fire throughout his body. Hundreds of 
water-carriers were employed to pour water over him, but 
nothing could cool him nor alleviate his acute suffering. 

Now, after the Raja’s disappearance, the Rani raved 
like a mad woman for a time. Then she became a 
gosain, and started in search of her husband. Perilous 
and long was the journey she had imposed on herself ; 
and though her courage sank within her at times, and 
her tender feet, unaccustomed to walking, became swollen, 
she walked on until she reached the confines of the 
kingdom of her husband’s parents. 

■ Here, on the branches of a tree, a pair of chakwa 
chakwi birds were holding a close conversation. 

‘ Our Raja’s son, Jambhu Raja, is suffering greatly 
from heat in his body,’ said the male bird. 

‘ Yes,’ dear, said the female bird, ‘ but there is no 
cause fbr anxiety. If any one were to collect our dung, 



and reduce it to powder, and apply it to his body, he 
would be cured instantaneously.’ 

Saying this the birds flew away up into the high 
heavens. Our heroine, who was conversant with the 
language of birds, gratefully gave heed to the speech. 
Collecting some of the dung she reached the capital sooner 
than she would otherwise have done, weary and footsore 
as she was. The people that first met her gaze were a 
troop, of water-carriers whom she interrogated thus : — 

‘ Sisters ! Sisters I whither are you going with these 
pots full of water ? ’ 

‘ Ah I Don’t you know ? Are you new to the 
country ? ’ said they. ‘ Our old Raja’s son, Jambhu Raja, 
is suffering from a malady. We are carrying water to 
pour over him in order to cool his body.’ 

‘ Just so, sister. I am new to this country having 
only just entered your Raja’s capital. Look at my hag- 
gard appearance and the dust on my feet. In the course 
of the day, after I have found a lodging and taking my 
meals and a little rest, I shall also follow you, carrying 
a pot of water, if you see no objection.’ 

Thus saying Jambhu Raja’s wife dropped her ring 
into one of the pots without their knowledge. It fell over 
the Raja when the contents of the gar ha were emptied over 
him, and prepared him for his wife’s arrival. 

A few hours after, the Rani, disguised as a panniara 
(water-carrier), came in the company of the water- 
carriers. She formally poured the contents of the pot 
over her husband so as not to arouse suspicion. Making 
herself known she applied the dung of the chakwa 
chakwi birds to his entire body, and the burning pain 
left him entirely. The Raja, sending for his mother, told 
her of his recovery, and desired that the water-carrier, 
who was the cause of this, should remain with him. 


Now the Raja’s mother was a bad woman, and she 
knew who the water-carrier was. Oncfe she had asked her 
to plaster with cow-dung their dwelling-place which, by 
the force of her magic, she had made to bristle with sharp 
needles at every conceivable point. The Raja divining 
this, wished for their disappearance, and no harm had 
befallen his wife. 

Again the bad woman had wished for scorpions and 
centipedes in the house, and it was so ; but Jambhu Raja 
made them disappear before his wife plastered it. Thus 
his wife was saved from harm for the second time. 

Still the bad woman was bent upon treating his 
daughter-in-law cruelly or doing away with her. She 
gave her a dirty sari, well steeped in oil, and told her to 
wash it quite clean or she would punish her very severely. 
Coming to know of this, the Raja asked the cranes to 
clean the cloth and thus averted the punishment, which 
would otherwise have been inevitably inflicted on the 
ill-used young woman. 

Chagrined at being thus frustrated in her attempt, the 
cruel persecutor gave to her panniara (daughter-in-law) 
three khandis of grain to winnow. Again the Raja 
came to the rescue and asked all the ants to clean them 
without losing one ear. They did so accordingly, but the 
Raja’s mother found one corn missing. Thereupon he 
said : ‘ Come all ye ants and tell me who stole the corn,’ 
and a small timid ant threw out of her tiny mouth the 
missing thing. Then the woman inferred that her son 
had all along been protecting his wife from harm and 
persecution, and now took the extreme step of sending 
the Ra n to his betrothed wife’s home with the following 
letter to the girl’s mother : — 

‘ Your daughter’s enemy (because of the would-be posi- 
tion of co-wife) is coming ; poison or kill her at once.’ 


She came back, however, none the worse, but safe and 
sound, to the great vexation and astonishment of the 
mother-in-law. How could she come otherwise, for the 
words' of the note the Raja substituted words as 
follows : — 

‘ My adopted daughter is coming, treat her very 

Now Jambhu Raja’s mother wanted to celebrate his 
marriage with the betrothed of her selection, though she 
knew full well that he had married the disguised water- 
carrier and loved her extremely. Indeed, the ceremonies 
began and the marriage procession started. In the 
procession the wife was converted into a torch-bearer 
and a torch was put into her hand. All of a sudden 
she caught fire, at which she cried out : ' Husband, 
husband, my cloth is on fire.’ 

‘ Not only your cloth, but my body and mind,’ replied 
the husband. 

Saying thus and taking his wife, the Raja translated 
himself through the mid air to his former palace. 


In a certain country there once lived a king. He had a 
dutiful son who, on rising from his bed in the morning, 
used to prostrate himself at his father’s feet. The father 
used to confer a blessing : ‘ May you prosper, and your 
prosperity be more than mine, yea, double.’ In like 
manner the son prostrated himself at the feet of his 
mother, who used to bless him : ‘ May your intelligence 
be more than that of thieves.’ 

' This folktale is the most extraordioary conglomeration of stock incidents 
that I have yet seen.— E ditor, Indian Antiquary, 



Now the prince thought of the strangeness of the 
mother’s constant blessing, and made up his mind to test 
the intelligence of thieves. So, one dark night, setting 
aside his princely robes and completely disguising him- 
self, he left his home, and had not wandered long in the 
streets before a thief accosted him : ‘ Who are you ? ’ 

The prince, who had expected this, in order to estab- 
lish a friendship, replied : ‘ Do you not know that I 
am a brother of the profession ? ’ 

‘ Well, come on,’ said the thief. 

They had proceeded but a few paces, when another 
thief came, and after a while they were joined by a third. 

As they were all walking in company, the first asked 
the second what qualifications he possessed. ‘ Brother,’ 
replied he, ‘ I understand the language of beasts. I can 
tell you the precise meaning of their cries. Will you 
kindly tell me yours.’ 

‘ Yes,’ said he, ‘ If I see a man once in the night, I 
can recognize him even after twelve years.’ 

When the third was questioned as to his merits, he 
answered : ‘ Brothers, T can tell you what is hidden in 
the palace, nay, in the bowels of the earth — gold, silver, 
copper or whatever it may be.’ 

The disguised prince was in trouble while this discus- 
sion was going on, not knowing what he should say in 
his turn ; but a thought struck him in the nick of time. 
When at last the question was put to him, he said that he 
could save his brother-thieves from the gallows, if matters 
come to such a crisis- 

The thieves that night had resolved to plunder the 
Raja’s palace. So the thief who could tell of the hidden 
wealth was consulted, and they started. On the way a 
dog barked, and they all at once asked the comrade who 
was conversant with the language of beasts : ‘ Brother, 


why does the dog bark ? ’ ‘It tells us,’ said he, ‘ that the 
owner is with us, and that we should be on our guard 
‘ How could the owner be with us, you fool ? ’ angrily 
retorted they, and proceeding on their course they 
approached the palace. 

Now the prince was sorry that he should be associated 
with thieves in plundering his own palace. He did not 
relish the idea, much less the fact. Nor did the mere 
thought of losing the vast wealth accumulated for seven 
generations please him. He, therefore deserted the 
thieves, and hastily reaching the palace informed the 
guards there of their intentions and of their probable 
arrival within a short time. The result was that the 
thieves were caught in the very act of laying their hands 
on the accumulated treasure. 

The day had dawned. The king was informed of the 
robbery, and in due course he had the thieves brought 
before the tribunal. He enquired into the grave charges 
against them, and finding them guilty, he ordered them 
to be taken instantly to death. 

Now the thief, who said that he could recognize a man 
after the lapse of twelve years, went to the prince who 
was sitting on the right of his royal father, and, taking 
him by the hand, he exclaimed that he was one of them. 
Greatly surprised, the king asked for an explanation, and 
the son, taking him aside, rehearsed from the beginning, 
how his mother’s blessing had led him to test the intelli- 
gence of thieves. He had indeed been surprised — one 
thief interpreting the barking of a dog, another telling of 
a state of the palace coffers, and the third recognizing a 
face seen only in the dark. He also told him how he had 
promised them to save their lives. ‘ The time has now 
come,’ said the prince in conclusion, ‘ for me to fulfil the 
promise, but the power is with you, sire ; so I beg of yon 



to kindly grant the thieves their lives.’ The king from 
the kindliness of his heart complied with the request of 
his ever dutiful son. 


Once upon a time in a certain country there lived a 
pious king. One day, having bathed and applied the 
tilaka to his forehead, he started, followed by his minis- 
ter, to go to a temple to worship. To reach the temple 
there was a river to be crossed. 

Now Ishvara, with a view to test the piety of the 
king, assumed the form of a mangy dog, and appeared at 
the river precisely at the moment when the king and 
the minister were about to cross it. 'n this repulsive 
disguise the dog approached the king repeatedly with a 
mute appeal to be taken to the other side of the river ; 
but he kept himself from coming in contact with what 
appeared to be a low cur. Yet the animal persisted in 
going up to the king, howling piteously. 

The minister, on seeing this, said to his master : — ‘ I 
see, sir, that this creature wishes to be taken across 
the river.’ So saying, he took the dog into his arms, 
notwithstanding the mange, and began fording the river 
after the king. 

The river was not easily forded, and so, when the 
water reached up the armpits of the minister, he put the 
dog on his shoulders, and when the water reached his 
shoulders, he put it on his head, the king observing him 
all the time. And by the time the king and the minister 
reached the temple, the former found to his great horror 
that he had been smitten with the mange of the dog, 
this being the punishment inflicted by God, because, 



notwithstanding his reputed piety, he was not, when passed 
through the crucible of experience, found right in his 
heart. On the other hand, the minister who had handled 
the mangy dog from first to last was untouched, for his 
heart was approved by God. 

The moral is that we are not to look down upon the 
poor for their poverty or external defects, for who knows 
but they may have hearts that commend themselves to 


Once upon a time in a certain country there lived a 
Brahman, who had two very beautiful daughters. The 
eldest bore the name of Poongaveluku and her sister 
Kuthuveluku. The father had these girls married at an 
early age. In due time Poongaveluku, who had been 
married in her seventh year, advanced towards woman- 
hood, and the garbavasi or garbadhan ceremony had 
been performed. Shortly afterwards Kuthuveluku, too, 
attained to womanhood, but the sobanum ceremony 
could not be performed, for her husband, Deshadi Raja, 
was travelling in the east and west and north and 
south of Aryavarta. 

Not having seen her sister, Poongaveluku for a long 
time, Kuthuveluku adorning herself in all her ornaments, 
went to visit her ; Poongaveluku on seeing her appear 
even more beautiful than when she had last seen her, 
wept bitterly, for she had heard of the death of Deshadi 
Raja. The younger sister asked the cause of her 
weeping, but she would not tell her for a long time. 
As Kuthuveluku persisted, she yielded, and with tears in 
her eyes, said : ‘ My loving and only sister, Kuthu- 
veluku, I wept because I thought of what you will do 



with your youth and loveliness, young and lovely as you 
are, for 'I have heard of the death of your husband in 
the course of his travels in Bharathavarsha.’ 

Hearing this, Kuthuveluku took leave of her sister and 
returned to her parents. Informing them of her mis- 
fortune with tears, she entreated her father to prepare a 
funeral pyre, so that she might burn herself in it and 
rejoin her husband in the next world. 

In due course the pyre was prepared. After dis- 
tributing puspu, kunkuma, barnailu, santhosa and 
vastra to the punyastrees, and after making pranams 
to the assembled crowd, Kuthuveluku without swerving 
for one moment from the self-imposed ordeal, and calling 
upon heaven and earth to witness, notwithstanding the 
high flames leaping to the skies, jumped into the pyre. 
But an unusual heavy rain came down from the blue sky 
and not only extinguished the funeral pile, but burst the 
banks of the rivers abounding in the country and made 
them overflow, and caused a general flood. One of these 
rivers, by the impetuosity of its flow, swept the immacu- 
late victim of the burning fires along with it. On the 
morning of the next day the chaste young widow of 
Deshadi Raja, whom the fires refused to touch, carried 
by the benign current, found herself landed on the bank 
of a river in a strange country. 

A mdldkara in service of the king of the country saw 
her and was impressed with her extreme beauty. Pitying 
her forlorn condition, wetted and shivering as she was, 
he took the young lady home and told Ifis wife to tend 
her as their child, as they had no children. Now it was 
the duty of the mdldkara every morning to make ready 
garlands and immortelles, gujras and turas for the royal 
family. In this work he was relieved on one occasion by 
his adopted daughter. The queen observed the change, 



and so struck and pleased was she with the artistic talent 
displayed in the arrangement of various flowers Constitut- 
ing the wreaths, etc., that she sent for the mdldkara and 
asked him who had made ready the mdlds that day. 

‘ My daughter,’ was the reply. 

‘ Bring your daughter to me some day,’ said the 

Accordingly the mdldkara took his adopted daughter 
to the palace one day, and she was at once, much to the 
regret of the foster-father, taken into the service of the 
royal family as a suitable companion to the queen’s 
daughter, who was of the same age. 

Now, on a certain occasion, the queeh gave a ser of 
pearls to one of the maid-servants, telling her to string 
them. The mdldkara' s adopted daughter, who happened 
to be present, said she would do the work, but her 
mistress would not trust her with it. However, she 
insisted, and in an inauspicious moment began the work. 
While thus occupied, Kuthuveluku was shouted at and 
called several times for her noon-day meal. So she left 
the pearls in a temple to Ganesha attached to the palace, 
and went to take her food. But what was her surprise 
on her return to find that the pearls had completely 

The loss of the pearls was, in due course, brought to 
the notice of the queen. She was very wroth, and had 
the culprit’s head at once shaved as a public insult. 
Besides this punishment the poor widow of Deshadi 
Raja was made to sweep the verandahs, granaries and 
stable yards during the day, and at night’ to act as a 
lamp-stand at the latter place. 

Now, Deshadi Raja was alive, notwithstanding the 
rumours of his demise, and had arrived in this country 
from his extensive travels in the land of Bharata and of 


Kasyapa Muni, embosomed and nestling amidst the 
Yamulgifi Parvatam ; for the queen was no other than 
his sister. Here, in the palace, he saw poor Kuthuveluku 
standing alone during the night at the entrance of his 
chamber, for her position had been shifted to the palace 
from the stable yard since the Raja’s stay in the palace. 
He was very much displeased with the inhuman treat- 
ment meted out to the maid-servant : and was anxious to 
know the cause of such a harsh treatment, but somehow 
or other he forgot to ask about it. 

During his stay with his brother-in-law and sister, 
Deshadi Raja asked that a mistress be provided for him. 
This, of course, could not be done without informing 
the queen. So she was informed, and said : ‘ We had 
better send that girl who lost the lakh of rupees worth 
of pearls ; she is beautiful. By this way at least the loss 
of pearls will be recompensed.’ 

Accordingly, Kuthuveluku was ordered to dress 
herself and go to the newly-arrived brother of the queen 
in the palace during his stay. She understood the purpose 
and wept much, but obey she must. So, she fervently 
praying to Ishvara inwardly to preserve her chastity, 
she, on the first day, heaving deep sighs, approached the 
entrance of the chamber and stood weeping. On the 
second day also she approached the entrance of the 
chamber w'th a heavy heart and stood weeping. The third 
day, too, saw her standing and weeping at the entrance. 
The fourth day also marked the tears of Kuthuveluku, 
wetting the ground at the entrance to the chamber of the 
Raja. But on the fifth day, when she had begun weep- 
ing after approaching the entrance and taking her 
stand, the Raja, who had observed her behaviour for the 
last four days, and taking her to be no prostitute, asked 
her wh*o she was and why she was weeping. Upon this, 


heeramMa and VENKATASWAMI or 

Kuthuveluku, with clasped hands, unfolded her tale of 
woes. She told how she had been married to the 
unfortunate Deshadi Raja, who had died while making 
acquaintance with different countries, and how in conse- 
quence she had had a funeral pile prepared and jumped 
into it to rejoin her husband in the next world, but how 
an unusually heavy rain at that moment came down 
from the high heavens, as ill-luck would have it, and 
extinguished the flames : how one of the several rivers 
which inundated the country in consequence, instead of 
accepting her sinful self as a sacrifice when refused by 
fire, swept her a long only to lay her on the banks of a 
river of a strange country, where a mdldkara, taking 
compassion on her, adopted her as his daughter ; how she 
was torn away from him by the queen to become a com- 
panion for her daughter ; how she lost the pearls in the 
temple of Ganesha and had in consequence been punished. 

She went on to say : I have been the lamp-post at the 
entrance to your chamber since your arrival (though I was 
in the stable yard before), and now I am compelled to lead 
the life of a prostitute against my will, when, as heaven 
and earth know k, I have laid the hem of my gar- 
ment to Deshadi Raja, and to him alone. ‘ To save 
me from dishonour and allow me to die pure, when death 
overtakes me, is now within your power,’ said Kuthu- 
veluku, prostrating herself at his feet with tears trickling 
down the pallid cheeks of her swollen face. 

Hearing her sorrowful story, and recognizing from 
the narration in the poor badly treated servant sent to 
him, his own wife, Deshadi Raja took her to his side and 
wept bitterly, exclaiming that he was her husband. But 
Kuthuveluku would not believe that he was her husband, 
for had she not learnt from the lips of her sister that he 
died while travelling in the classic Aryabumi, and were not 

folktales from INDIA 


women always being deceived by men by false persuasion ? 
Howevei;, Deshadi Raja sent for his brother-in-law the 
next day, and in high terms asked the cause of the mal- 
treatment of his wife, and straightway made his way to 
the temple of Ganesha and beat the image in his anger 
with a ratan, stating that he was the root of the disap- 
pearance of the pearls for which his poor wife was so 
bitterly persecuted. Whereupon the god gave up the 

Deshadi Raja soon afterwards, leaving his cruel 
sister and brother-in-law, who were at a loss for an ex- 
planation of the maltreatment of his wife, reached his 
father-in-law’s country, followed by his patient wife, 

Here, to the great joy of Kuthuveluku’s father and 
sister, was very soon celebrated with great pomp and 
splendour the marriage of Deshadi Raja with Kuthu- 
veluku for the second time, for both had been reported 
dead and were alive. 

It need hardly be said that the pair lived happily 
afterwards, attaining a good old age and possessing 
many a grand-child dandling at their knees. 


Once upon a time in a certain country there lived a 
king. One day he started on an expedition, and, 
preceding his army and retinue, he became cut off from 
them, and found himself in the heart of a dense forest. 
Feeling very thirsty, and not having a single attendant 
to fetch for him a lota of water, he entered a sugar-cane 
field hard by. The owner of the field was an old 


He addressed her thus : — 

‘ Mother, will you kindly give me to drink ? I feel 
very, very thirsty.’ 

‘ Sir,’ said the woman, ‘ I have no water here, but 
there is a well a mile hence. You can go, mounted as 
you are, on your horse, and slake your thirst there.’ 

‘ But,’ said the king, ‘ I am exhausted and fatigued, 
and have not the strength to go so far, even on my 

On this the old woman, who was of a 'compassionate 
nature, pierced with a thorn one of the sugar-canes and 
extracted a lotaful of juice and offered it to the king. He 
^rank it, and finding it refreshing asked for more. The 
woman repeated the process, and obtained another. This 
he drank also and asked for a third draught, so thirsty 
was he. This request also she complied with. Refresh- 
ed thus, the king before leaving the field, asked the 
owner what rent she paid for the ground. He was 
informed ‘ one rupee,’ and the ungrateful king thought 
that the ground-rent levied was too little. 

On a future occasion circumstances similar to the 
above brought the king to the same sugar-cane field in 
the forest. He asked his old acquaintance for a drink. 
The obliging woman pierced with thorns ten sugar-canes, 
but all to no purpose ; for not one yielded any juice. 
The king asked of the cause of this. ‘ Ah! ’ exclaimed 
the old woman, ‘ do you not know it ? This is caused 
by the perfidy of the king, for his mean heart has made 
the soil to lose its fertility.’ 


Once upon a time in a certain country there lived a man 
who was highly intelligent and versed in knowledge. 



But people looked upon him as a mad man notwith- 
standing' these favourable qualities ; and this because of 
his constant rounds to every house in the vicinity repeat- 
ing the formula of his ‘ Boodhdhi voonnadhi dubboo 
laidhu.' (Have sense but no money.) 

Now four merchants went to a counting house and 
were receiving money at the hands of their banker for 
the purposes of trade ; when came the mad man repeat- 
ing his formula ‘ Boodhdhi voonnadhi dubboo lai !hu. ' 
The banker asked him to sit down and enquired what 
he wanted. ‘ I want five thousand rupees ’ said the mad 
man quickly. 

‘ Well, execute a bond ’ replied the banker. 

Hardly was the bond drawn up when the banker 
counted out the rupees, put them in bags and threw them 
on the shoulders of two of his servants and bidding 
them to carry same enjoined on them to obey the orders 
of the mad man to the very letter ; he was anxious the 
niore to find out for himself to what good account his 
money would be turned than afraid of losing it. 

Now the mad man laid out the' sum in purchasing 
bullocks and hay, the latter of which he burned and 
turned to ashes. This he carefully kept in bags. On 
this a conversation took place between the two servants. 

‘ Brother, brother, what good was there in investing 
money on bullocks and ashes,’ said one. 

‘ There might be good — who knows, brother, but 
what does it matter ? We get our pay all the same,’ 
replied the other. 

The mad man repaired to the seabeach and waited 
there telling his servants that their encampment had better 
be some distance away from him ; they were to come to 
him onlj^ to give him his meals and receive instructions. 
And soon afterwards he made a light craft and went to 


sea where he selected a spot close to a sunken rock 
and scattered the ashes on all sides. 

Now this was the place where the sea-dogs used to 
bring out shells, break them open and eat what was 
found inside. The majority of these shells veritably 
contained pearls of every variety of size and of every 
degree of excellence. They lay scattered on the ashes 
presenting, on account of their glimmering lustre, a most 
dazzling appearance. These pearls the mad man used to 
store every day and put them away secretly and without 
arousing suspicion in the body of the cow-dung cakes, the 
making of which with regularity seemed to the servants 
his ordinary business. In fact, on this account they 
looked upon their master as more than ever a mad man. 

One day he had the cakes put on the bullocks’ back 
and started for his native place. On the way he 
encamped at a place, where he found the four merchants 
also encamped and on their homeward journey. At 
night they were overtaken by a strong gust of wind and 
their dinner was spoiled ; and running short of fire- 
wood they ran to the man with the caravan of cow-dung 
cakes and asked for a few faggots. He gave them a few 
and accepted their word of honour that they would be 

In due course the merchants paid a visit to the 
banker, settled their accounts and presented him with 
valuable cloths and ornaments ; and our hero, to the 
great joy of the trusty banker, settled his account also 
and gave him a present of five cow-dung cakes. These 
the banker sent to his wife who, looking at the strange 
present, thought within herself, ‘ I always make use of 
sandalwood, never have I made use of these nasty cakes.’ 
And with these reflections predominant in her mjnd, she 
broke one of them and to her extreme surprise found it 



filled with beautiful pearls — some of the first water or of 
the first 'magnitude, others of middle size as also very 
tiny ones. Gathering all the pearls from the cakes 
she sent for her husband and asked whether he had 
himself sent to her the cow-dung cakes. 

‘ Yes, only to please a mad man,’ said the husband. 

Then she explained how the cakes contained pearls 
of inestimable price. On this the banker sent for the 
mad man, received him with all cordiality and thanked 
him for the present which, though outwardly cow-dung 
cakes, yet was really treasure enough to make one a 
nabob as he facetiously remarked. 

After the lapse of some time the four merchants* 
returned to the pearl merchant — we shall so call our 
hero — five cow-dung cakes, but the latter would not 
accept them, and how could he ? They were the same in 
size and appearance, it is true, yet they wanted in 
their inward contents, namely pearls, and it was only when 
the banker, v/hose aid was called in, had e.xplained the 
trouble of the matter, that the merchants were surprised 
and begged to be excused for consigning the valuable 
pearls unknowingly to the flames. Henceforward they 
looked upon the pearl merchant as a genius, and so did 
the populace who, observing the further growth of his 
prosperity and affluence marvelled what their mad 
man might do by his knowledge, the power of which they 
now began to clearly understand. 


Once upon a time in a certain country there lived a 
Brahmin. Quite disgusted with himself on account of 
precarious living he went to a forest greatly wishing 



that he might become the prey of wild beasts. In 
consonance with his inward wish he met the' king of 
tigers who growled and, gnashing his teeth, sprung 
upon the man, but, surprise of surprises, the beast, 
instead of engaging itself in the work of destruction, 
called the Brahmin near and enquired into his case. 
Sympathising with him in the end it said : — 

‘ Oh, Brahmin, I pity you sincerely and propose as 
a remedy that I supply the funds and you prepare the 
meals for yourself and me.’ 

The Brahmin acquiesced and the beast and the man 
lived in great amity for a considerable number of years; 
when one day a skeleton of an old ass came to the forest. 

The king of the tigers growled and made a bound 
upon the animal but, as before, instead of doing any 
harm, called the latter and asked about itself. 

‘ Oh king of the tigers,’ said the ass, ‘ do not ask 
about me, for my case is a sad one to relate. When I 
could hardly totter on my legs I was snatched away 
from my living mother’s side and given into' a dhobi’s 
family. Here I have been given the drudgery of carrying 
on my back burdens of more weight than I could bear to 
and from the distant river-bank, and the provender I 
was made to subsist upon during the time was barely 
sufficient to keep body and soul together. Having thus 
worked hard in the best years of my life, exhausted and 
old as I have now become and therefore unfit for work, 
they have sent me adrift upon the world to shift for 
myself. My only wish is to die, so I implore you to 
exercise your prerogative and make a mouthful of me.’ 

Sympathetically viewing the poor ass’s case, the 
king of the tigers asked the Brahmin friend to cook 
meals for three persons ; and since that time the poor 
animal stayed with the tiger and the Brahmin. 

folktales from INDIA 


Thus for a long time the beasts and the man lived 
in great' friendship. One day, however, the king of the 
tigers paid the debt of nature, and the Brahmin and 
the ass were overwhelmed with grief because of the 
loss of their only benefactor on this earth. Nor did 
their grief show signs of abatement ; for on the funeral 
pyre which they prepared for their tiger-benefactor 
and whereon they laid the corpse they themselves 

Now there sprang up where the fiie consumed the 
Brahmin, the tiger and the ass, a tree called the Mohwa 
tree {Bassia latifolia), the flowers of which yield an 
intoxicating wine. 

The moral is that when a man enters a tavern his 
attitude is like that of the humble Brahmin of our 
story ; when, he drinks to some extent he becomes a tiger ; 
and when he indulges without any restraint he becomes 
an ass — veritably a dhobi's ass. 


Thpjre lived a crow who laid ninety eggs. All of them 
had dried up except one. The crow asked the egg : 

‘ Oh egg, how is it that all the eggs have dried 
but you ? ’ 

‘ The grass obstructed me by its shadow ’ was the 

Hearing this the crow went to the grass and asked : 

‘ Oh grass, why didst thou obstruct ? ’ 

‘ Because the horse did not browse.’ 

‘ Oh horse, why didst thou not browse ? ’ 

‘ Because the boy did not tether me.’ 

‘ Oh boy, why didst thou not tether the horse ? - 



‘ Because the girl did not give me conjee.' 

‘ Oh girl, why didst thou not give the bov conjee ? ’ 

‘ Because the ant bit me.’ 

‘ Oh ant, why didst thou bite the girl ? ’ 

‘ How could I keep quiet when one puts his finger in 
my golden hole ? ’ 


This is a distinct nursery tale told to amuse little children, and 
not a mere ending seemingly like the ending to each folklore as you 
have in ‘ Folktales of Bengal.’ It may be in the words of the author 
of that work — the Rev. Lall Behari Day — a pure string of non- 
sense, if not a tissue of falsehood. 


There was a king who had seven daughters. These 
one day went to a forest to gather Fonna flowers. 

The sisters had a grudge against their youngest 
sister because their father and mother loved her more 
than them, she being the last and hence darling child. 
So they persuaded her to climb a Ponna flower tree 
telling her that they would thus get fresh flowers and 
soon be able to fill their baskets and return home ; and 
then when she was plucking flowers they ran away 
leaving her alone. Thus the poor thing was left high 
on the tree. 

In the meantime a monkey passed. To it she spoke: 
‘ Oh monkey, monkey, pray set me down or else bite rne.’ 

‘ I neither know how to set you down nor to bite ’ re- 
plied the monkey. 

Then an ape passed to which she said : ‘ Oh ape, ape, 
pray set me down or else bite me.’ 

folktales from INDIA .53 

‘ I know not how to set you down or how to bite you ’ 
replied the ape. 

Then a bear passed to which she said : ‘ Oh bear, 
bear, pray set me down or else devour me.’ 

‘ I neither know how to set you down or how to 
devour you ’ said the bear. 

Then a tiger passed, to which she said: ‘ Oh tiger, 
tiger, pray set roe down or else devour me.’ 

‘ I neither know how to set you down or how to 
devour you ’ said the tiger. 

Then a panther passed, to which she addressed thus : 

Oh panther, panther, pray set me down or else devour 

‘ I do not know how to set you down, but I know 
how to devour you.’ So saying it brought her down and 
devoured her. 

What else ? It is done. 

Voka raju ata, rajuku yaiduguru koothoorloo ata, 
Ponna poovooloo (v) aira bothey. puli raju vachhi 
bookka buttay, Jangamaya jolay guttai, guru bichay. 

[There was a certain king. He had seven daughters. 
They went to gather Ponna flowers when the liger-king 
filled his maw and the jangama opened his jholay, 
asking charity in the name of his guru.\ 


The repetition of the story as succinctly as possible at the end 
(or the resume of the story in a succinct form in the end) is 
evidently intended to put an end to Inca or further particulars of 
the story asked by little children. But what connection the 
Jangamaya has with the story in opening \i\s jholay and asking 
charity Jn the name of his guru, the writer is unable to trace or 
find out. 




Once upon a time in a certain country there lived a 
king. One morning he wanted to mount his elephant, 
when lo and behold ! the animal was covered with dark 
spots all over its body. On this the king at once sent 
for his astrologer and asked the reason and the remedy ; 
for the king did not wish that there should be any defect 
in his favourite elephant. The astrologer said : ‘ Oh 
Maharaja, this is responsible for the sinfulness of the 
woman and I assert that if one Pativrata approaches the 
animal with an arti and waves it over three times, all the 
dark spots will instantaneously disappear.’ 

Hearing this the king caused a proclamation to be 
made through the town crier for a Pativrata, explaining 
the object and promising to give half of his kingdom as 
a reward. Strange to say not one Pativrata came forward. 
The male portion of the people in the palace and in the 
city from the king to the peasant were asking themselves 
the question seriously, ‘ Is my wife not faithful to me 
and, if so, why should she not come forward ? [and how 
could she when she has seen the faces of several besides 
her husband in spite of her rice-oath on the wedding 
day] . In the meantime, a slave of the king who fully 
believed in the fid?lity of his wife, had the audacity to 
run to his master and without standing on ceremony, say 
‘ Oh Raja, my wife is going to come forward and do thy 
bidding.’ ‘ Tell her to do it at once you rascal and 
you have the promised reward ’ replied the king 

Now the slave, in the evening, told his wife cheerfully 
of the promise given to the king, she being a Pativrata. 
But it surprised him greatly when he heard his wife say 



that though she seemed a paragon of virtue to him, yet 
she was' not a Pativrata, as she had relations with 
thirty-two other men. That number she said she wanted 
to complete (making it thirty-three in all) that night soon 
after her meals. 

The next morning the hen-pecked husband who did 
not dream for a moment that he was a cuckold, ran to the 
river-bank and there .shed tears in profusion till after 
sun down. This was observed by the dhobi women-folk 
who were engaged in washing clothes there, it being their 
ghat. Of them one possessing the kindliest disposition 
went to him and asked : — 

‘ Oh aiya, aiya, what ails you ? What are you 
weeping for ? Weeping for having no wife or having no 
children ? What’s the cause ? Do tell me. I may 
relieve your anxiety.’ 

Touched by the sympathetic words he said : ‘ Oh, 
amma, amma, I am weeping the raja will kill me, 
run his dagger through me. For believing in my wife 
I gave him my word that she would wave lamps over the 
state elephant, but I find that she cannot, not being a 
Paiivraia. This has set me aweeping.’ 

Hearing this sad story, the dhobun pitied the slave 
greatly, addressed him not to lose heart and assured 
him that she would herself in place of his unchaste wife 
carry the arti on the morrow. Much to his relief and 
true to his word, she, after getting permission from her 
husband the dhobi, came to him with a tray of lamps on 
her head ; and ere long followed by him was on her way 
to the palace when her humble drapery (koka or cheeray) 
became a pitambar, the earthen tray a gold salver, and the 
lamps all gold and wonder of wonders ! hardly had the 
arti b^en waved over the elephant thrice than the 
animal became immaculate save for one dark spot. On 

56 . 


this the true Pativrata reproached herself for having 
once or for the first time in her life performed the 
unwifely act of partaking of food before her husband 
being pressed by hunger, when, surprise of surprises, 
the one spot also instantly disappeared. 

The king from the beginning watched, with as great 
interest as the populace, the miraculous disappearance of 
the dark spots from the body of the elephant ; and in the 
end admired the really true chaste woman who so caused 
it by virtue of her chastity. And true to his word he gave 
his kingdom, wealth, army retinue, elephants, camels, 
horses to the extent of one-half to the slave though he came 
to know subsequently man’s that the Palivrata was his 
adopted sister not wife. 

It needs scarcely be said that the slave who now 
became a great man of the realm by the help of the 
dhobuH- generously conferred favours now and then upon 
his adopted sister, the chaste woman of the land and 
these favours she used to accept with great diffidence 
and of course after receiving permission to receive them 
from her husband. For accepting favours even from a 
relative without the permission of a husband is not in 
accord with the character of a true wife. 


Once upon a time there lived a mother. She had a son 
who, though attained to manhood and fit to serve, was 
lazy, besides being a simpleton. 

All of a sudden, one day he called his mother and 
said : ‘ Mother, mother, I am going to serve. I wish you 
to get for me a pair of shoes as light as the tamarind 



In consonance with the wish expressed, the mother 
made a pair of shoes of a very light character and gave 
the same to her son, entertaining no very great hopes 
that he would serve, much less earn, knowing, as she 
did, his lazy temperament and the fact of his being a 
simpleton. But the young man got up, donned his best 
clothes — putting on, of course, the brand new rattling 
pair of shoes — and started at a rap’d rate whither he 
knew best. He did not go by the bye-lanes but by one 
of the roads — tolerably sequestered — where seeing some 
men wrangling he shouted at the top of his voice 
‘ Who are you ? ’ at which the fellows in utter con- 
fusion, ran away taking our man, by the mode of his 
walking and the style of his dress, not to speak of the 
yell he gave, for ‘ some one great ’ in power. 

Now the men who precipitately fled were robbers, and 
hardly had they divided amongst themselves the spoils 
of the night — seven bags of silver coins robbed from the 
royal treasury — at their rendezvous than a difference 
arose, and our hero, as the reader is aware, by the brave 
shout he gave, frightened them out of their wits. Nay he 
did not stop with this procedure, but reconnoitred the 
whole place and came to the place where the bags were 
lying. These after surveying them indifferently, he lifted 
one by one and carried to the bed of a dried up rivulet 
hard by and, there on a dhobVs boulder, tested the coins 
one by one. Those which rang he condemned and threw 
away and those which did not ring he kept and there was 
only one coin he kept. Taking it home and putting it 
in the hands of his mother, he said : ‘ Here are my 
wages, only one coin I found good out of seven bags of 
silver coins I threw away in the rivulet sands since 
they were bad. 

The mother probed the matter and coming to know 




all the particulars, repaired soon after dusk to the spot 
accompanied by her son and without a third person being 
aware of it. And bringing home the treasure, the cunning 
woman hid it in the ground without informing the 
simpleton. At the same time, with a view to avoid 
suspicion or ultimate discovery she had recourse -to a 
stratagem — which, it will be seen, worked well. The 
stratagem was that when our hero was locked in the 
sweet embraces of sleep she threw over him sweetmeat, 
copper coins, and cowries as if a rain of those objects had 
descended upon him, upon which he got up and roared, 
‘ Mother, what is it ? ’ 

‘ It is sweetmeat raining, son,’ replied the mother. 

‘ So,’ said the son, and began collecting the sweetmeat 
not caring for either the cowries or the copper coins. 

It soon spread abroad that certain robbers had 
entered the palace and robbed State money from the 
treasury to the extent of seven bags of silver. This was 
the topic of the day in all the circles. Our hero without 
discussing it with any soul, made his way straight to the 
royal court and reported that his mother and he had 
brought the bags of silver to their house. Upon this, the 
Rajah’s palace officers were instantly at the spot making 
inquiries from the woman of the house and all that they 
could elicit was ‘ Neither my son nor I have brought any 

‘ Did we not ? ’ asked the son who had been listening 
all the while in mute silence and now awoke as it were 
from a reverie. 

■ ‘ No, when did we ? ’ said the mother. 

‘ On the day on which sweetmeat rained,’ rejoined he. 

‘ Does sweetmeat ever rain ? ’ asked the crafty 
woman of the assembled crowd and they nodded their 
heads. Thereupon her son hung his head in shame. 

folktales from INDIA 


Taking advantage of this the clever woman impressed 
on the people assembled by her harangue that the simple- 
ton (referring to her son) was always in a brown study 
and foolish were his imaginings — one being now in 

Hearing this, the royal messengers, looking upon the 
young man as the greatest fool that Nature ever brought 
forth from her workshop went their way without tracing 
the robbery or securing reward. 


Once upon a time there lived a king, who had a son. The 
minister also had a son. The lads ate together, walked 
together and slept together, and the intimacy of child- 
hood ripened into a friendship as time sped. 

In the natural course of events, both the juveniles 
married, and though the nuptials of the king’s son were 
soon celebrated, still the friendship was ever waxing and 
never waning ; and the interesting part was that the 
friends could not live without seeing each other. So 
with a view not to lose sight of his friend, the married 
prince had so arranged that the minister’s son should 
sleep underneath a high cot on which the bridegroom and 
his royal consort were to pass the nuptial night. 

The minister’s son, on account of the newness of the 
sleeping place underneath a high cot (comfortable 
though it was), could not get sleep for a considerable 
time ; and thoughts one after another revolved in his 
mind when, after a lapse of some time, he observed the 
royal bride go out. He also observed her coming back 
but without her nose. 

Now the royal bride had a paramour — a cripple. It 
was her promise to visit him on the nuptial night arrayed 


in her dress and decked in her jewellery before her 
husband ; but in this she failed and went to him after- 
wards. This aroused the cripple’s jealousy and he bit 
off her nose and expired because of the bursting of a 
blood vessel — such was his ire. 

Sorrowing for her paramour she mercilessly stabbed 
her legitimate husband and having arranged for the 
hasty removal of the remains of the cripple from the 
palace premises, she raised an alarm that the minister’s 
son had murdered her husband and bit off her nose on 
her refusal to grant him favours. 

For some time the minister’s son was in a dilemma, 
but realizing the dangerous situation he was in, when 
time lost was life lost, packed the remains of his dear 
friend in a box and giving it in charge of a servant, left 
the paiace without the knowledge of anybody — before 
help could reach' the treacherous woman on the false 
alarm — for the country of his bride. 

In due course he readied it and found his wife keep- 
ing good health and having attained towards woman- 
hood, was awaiting the performance of the sobanam 

Now the minister’s son’s wife was a very good 
woman. Her desire (the desire of every true wife) for 
the safe arrival of her husband being fulfilled and the 
nuptial ceremony performed, she, on that night, leaving 
her husband went to the temple of Badra Kali hard by 
and took out her dagger to sacrifice her arm in accord- 
ance with her vow to the goddess. On this the goddess 
appeared in person and exclaimed : — 

‘ Oh daughter, I am very well pleased with you. 
Ask any boon you like and it shall be granted unto thee.’ 
The woman with great humility asked the boon that 
whatever she touched which was lifeless or dry might be 



instilled with life and become fresh. Need it be said 
that the boon was granted. 

The husband who was pretending to be a sleep when 
his wife left him, now got up and followed her to see 
where she would go, and having witnessed everything in 
the temole returned before his wife and was lying in bed 
as before. 

In due course the wife returned, on which the husband 
who now feigning to be just aroused from sleep, asked 

‘ Oh, where were you ? ’ 

‘ Nowhere, Lord of my Soul,’ replied his wife meekly. 

‘ Nowhere you say ? I know where you went — to 
commit adultery,’ said the husband. 

‘ I did not go anywhere nor have I committed adultery 
with any one,’ rejoined the wife. 

‘ So if you are pure and chaste touch the box here so 
that whatever there may be inside may become fresh 
again,’ said the husband. 

She acquiesced, when, surprise of surprises, something 
moved in the box. The box was opened immediately. 
Behold the prince came to life ! 

For some time the friends could not speak for emotion, 
but afterwards long was the conversation, in the course 
of which the minister’s son told how his wife was a 
votary of Kali ; how she propitiated the goddess ; how 
she wanted to sacrifice her arm in fulfilment of her vow on 
her husband joining her ; how the goddess being pleased 
appeared in person and granted the boon that ■ whatever 
her devotee touched might become fresh or be instilled 
with life. On this the head of the minister’s son was 
shattered to pieces because of his revealing the hidden 
mystery of the great Brahma. 

Sorrowing and summoning up courage, at the same 



time not losing a minute, the true wife had a collection 
made of the fragments of the bones and reverently 
touched them, when lo and behold her husband came to 
life ! and amidst tears of joy acknowledged his gratitude 
to her and repented of his folly in causing anxiety in her 

Need it be said that the king’s son went to his 
father’s dominions followed by his life-long friend as 
also by his loving and obedient wife, and narrated to his 
royal sire in detail how his wife on the nuptial night 
proving false stabbed him dead ; how his friend had his 
remains conveyed to his country and recalled to life by 
the instrumentality of his wife — a saintly woman, and 
adherent of Maha Kali. The king now getting access to 
true information, had the treacherous false wife of his 
son executed instantly and lavished praises on the 
minister’s son and his wife, besides conferring benefits 
upon the couple. He truly declared that the friendship 
which existed between his son and the minister’s son was 
divinely bestowed and calculated in right earnest to do 
good, not harm in any shape whatever. 


Once upon a time a Sadhu, not of very considerable age, 
went to ask for alms. Seeing a giA in an advanced 
stage of pregnancy at a house where he stood he said : — 

‘ Daughter, what is the cause of your belly being 
big ? ’ 

‘ It has a child,’ replied the prudent girl. 

Now the breasts which had become big by reason of 
approaching maternity attracted the Sadhu’s ajttention. 
So he said. 



‘ What are those breasts ? ’ 

‘ They are vessels of milk.’ 

‘ Have they milk ? ’ 

‘ Yes, they have.’ 

‘ Will you give me some ? ’ 

‘ Yes,’ said the would-be mother and began to draw 
forth milk from the teats. 

On this the Sadhu went away in a contemplative 
mood reflecting in this wise, that if God could make 
arrangements for nurturing the infant long before it is 
brought forth, how much more would He nourish him 
if he could only trust in Him. 


Once upon a time there was a king. He had a 
minister, of whom he was very proud, because of 
his (minister’s) scholarly attainments in the various 
languages of the Bharatvarsha. Calling him one day, 
the king said : 

‘ Oh minister, I am extremely pleased with your 
linguistic attainments ; at the same time I grieve that you 
are ignorant of Telugu and other languages of that 
group of the Southern country. So go to Dakshinatya 
and learn them.’ 

In conformity with the royal wish, the linguist went 
to the Dakshinadesha, stayed there for a considerable 
time and without making the least progress in the 
languages of those countries returned to his country. 

The king with a smiling face asked the minister : 
* Oh minister, have you learnt the languages ? ’ 

Without saying a single word, the minister took a 
lota 'in yrhich he put a large piece of stone and began to 
shake it violently. The king understood the meaning 



and thus cotping to know the difficult nature of the 
Turanian languages by the inability to acquire, much less 
grasp them, by such an able and ripe a scholar as his 
minister, he interdicted them from being cultivated in 
the patashalas through the length and breadth of his 


A CERTAIN mendicant started on his morning round to 
ask alms. After going from one house to another taking 
'alms in his jholi, he stood long before a house of a 
well-to-do man. Here, instead of begging, he had the 
audacity to make unlawful proposals to the mistress of 
the house. 

Now the mistress of the house was a very good 
woman — a true pativrata — besides being a woman whose 
features Vishwakarma chiselled unerringly and on whom 
nature lavished her charms ungrudgingly. It was 
clearly proved that the fair exterior was the infallible 
index of her mind. Hearing the base proposals of the 
mendicant she did not say anything but asked him to 
enter a dark solitary cell which he did with great glee 
being under the impression that the lady had acquiesced. 
But what was his surprise when he found that he was 
imprisoned for the insult he had offered. In this prison 
he was confined for two whole days and the food he was 
given was only conjee and a little salt, and this in- 

On the third day, however, after preparing luddoos 
and giving them every variety of colour — pink, rose, 
milky-white, snowy-white, yellowi— the lady cam& to the 
door of the cell, opened it and asked : — 



‘ O mendicant, may I know your wishes, whether you 
want me or want food ? ’ 

The passion being now subsided for want of Annum 
Parabrahmum, which is the creator of carnal desires,, 
he replied respectfully and sensibly : 

‘ Oh mother, I do not want you, but I want food.’ 

Being pleased that the man was brought to his senses 
through her, she all along having had recourse to 
her native wit alone without informing her jealous 
and angry husband anything in the least now placed 
before him a dish of the sweetmeat which she had 
prepared. While he was doing justice to it heartily 
and hastily, starving as he was, she addressed him 
thus : — 

‘ O mendicant, remember there is nothing in beauty.’ 
To be captivated or smitten by beauty is to have the 
senses rendered obtuse and wealth and time and some- 
times life lost. Beauty is like those luddoos of many 
colours. The taste of all of them is one and the same 
but the difference is in colour. What a beautiful woman 
has the same a woman of mediocre appearance possesses. 
In keeping you in durance on conjee and a little salt — on 
no meals so to speak — I have taught you, I think, a lesson 
for having lusted after me — veritably another man’s 
property according to divine and human laws since the 
day of the tying of the knot — which I hope you will rcr 
member to the last day of your life. I now permit you 
to go without informing my husband of this foolish 
affair of yours. Had I done so, he would have made short 
work of you, possessing as he does a jealous and angry 
temper such as no other man under the sun possesses. 

The mendicant did not stay there long for he was 
now sore afraid of the lady’s husband, but hastened to 
his house a sadder; and wiser man. 





Once upon a time there lived a man who rolling in 
wealth would neither recognize, endowed though he was 
with eyes, his relations, friends or countrymen, noi lend 
his ears to hear what they had to say ; so haughty 
was he. 

It is said, that Ishwara has in his possession five iron 
pegs for chastisement, Firstly to arrest the pride of this 
man he had four iron pegs driven into his ears and eyes 
and the man became poor. Still wondering at his 
demeanour which underwent no change, Ishwara took the 
extreme step of driving the fifth peg into the most sensi- 
tive part of the system and he was overtaken by fresh 
misfortunes of a severer character in being taken to the 
Karagruham. This was the culmination and his com- 
plete humiliation. 

Now in the Kara''ruham Ishwara, in His all-abound- 
ing kindness, after the season of His anger was over, 
caused the five pegs to fall off from the man and in that 
self-same moment he was set at liberty — and ever 
since that time he had set aside pride and began to 
recognize people and hear what they had to say ; for 
he was sore afraid of the five pegs, invisible though 
they were. 

0 listener, will you not avoid those five iron pegs by 
humbling yourself if pride is lurking in your breast ? 


Once upon a time there lived a respectable and well-to- 
do dwija. He had only one darling daughter, as beauti- 
ful as the full moon, whom he sent to a patashala. There, 
under the pundit of that institution, she acquired all he 


could impart in the sixty-four departments of knowledge. 
Fortified thus by intellectual virtuous feasts her outward 
behaviour was the reflex of her mind. 

In due course she came of age and marriage was dis- 
cussed ; and strange to say the very pundit who had 
taught her and who stood to her in the relation of 
a father, in utter callousness or with no sense of 
shame, asked her hand. The girl refused impressing 
upon him the fact that according to Nitishastra * He 
who teaches is a father,’ but the blunted sensibilities of 
the unprincipled pundit would not admit the force of 
this argument, and as nothing could induce her to 
become his wife he declared that he would do her harm 
by marrying her to a village swain, not to a learned 
person like herself. 

Now the duties of a pundit are so many and as 
important as those of the court-bard ; and arranging 
marriages between parties is one of them. So our pundit 
was sent to distant climes to choose husbands for girls 
and wives for boys ; and true to his word he selected a 
rustic for our blue-stocking. In due course he returned 
and before long her marriage was celebrated with great 
eclat, and the garbadhan ceremony soon after came 
to be performed and the pair were given a room. But 
on the first night the bridegroom had gone to bed. 
Attributing this to fatigue, the bride waited the second 
night, but to her astonishment he had gone to bed that 
night also without even appreciating the artistic arrange- 
ment of the room, much less holding such discourse as 
lovers know of. From this, concluding that she had 
been duped by her teacher but with a view to make sure 
of same she had recourse to her native wit and had all the 
fittings removed from her room and all the walls painted 
with agricultural scenes. 


The painting on the wall had the desired effect. He 
roused or the infinitesimal intelligence of the bridegroom 
in recalling the days he spent in the company of village 
shepherds had dawned on him. Upon which his wife 
told him to go that very night to the Kalihadaivy' s Mandi- 
ram hard by and shut himself up repeating the words 
Boodhee evoo (i.e. give intelligence). The swain did as 
was advised only differing in pronunciating the words 
unintelligibly buddihie, illiterate as he was. The god- 
dess some time in the night came to the temple and finding 
it shut, enquired who was there. Whereupon the rustic 
trembling with fear, opened the door repeating all the 
while, Buddihie, buddihie. Asking him to put out his 
tongue, she scrawled some mysterious words on it, and 
that very moment intelligence came to him as from a 
running brook. 

Full of intelligence he went to his wife and falling 
at her feet, said : 

‘ O gracious lady, as you have shown me the path 
by which I received a full measure of intelligence, you 
are my mother according to the Nitishastra, and I shall 
regard you as such.’ 

The wife was thunderstruck as she did not relish the 
idea as it ran contrary to her wishes and, as nothing 
could make him return to her, husband as xhe was and 
approved of by the gods above and bootulli below, 
notwithstanding the fr^ct of boorishness and illiteracy 
that clung to him first and now happily gone, she cursed 
him, her curse being that he would die at the hands of 
prostitutes. The curse, coming as it did from a true 
pativrata, took effect ; and strange to tell it was the 
prostitutes that sucked Kalidasa’s life-blood. 

[This is the Telugu.version of the story of Kalidasa, 
the Shakespeare of India] . 




Boodhdhi voondavadiki yeddhulaidhu 
Yeddhu voondavadiki boodhdhilaidhu 


so runs the Durji’s (tailor’s) proverb. 

In illustration of this — at any rate cf*the first part — 
the following tale is told : — 

Once upon a time a man was greatly pestered by 
rats night and day. For a long time, he was planning how 
to exterminate them. At last a plan suggested itself to 
him : he set the house where the rats were on fire ; and 
hardly hard he done this than the rats w?nt into the 
adjoining house also belonging to him. He next set 
that too on fire, and the rats entered the third house. In 
this manner he had six houses, valued at thousands of 
rupees, burnt, yet failed to destroy his enemies — the rats. 
Imbecile and resourceless as he was, he could think of no 
simpler or more effective measure than the one which 
involved the loss of thousands of rupees. To what is 
this all due ? To the want of a grain of sense ; hence 
the proverb. 

‘ He who has a bullock has not the sense (to yoke 
it to the plough and till the fields and profit by), and 
he who has sense has not a bullock (to engage himself 
in agricultural pursuits).’ 


Once upon a time in a certain country there lived a 
king, a^din the same country and about the same time, 
there lived a notorious 'robber. Bent upon plundering the 


palace, the robber one cold night, entered the precincts, 
but seeing a sentry pacing up and down with more than 
ordinary vigilance, his courage sank within him. Still 
not wishing to give up the attempt, he hid himself in a 
corner as well as he could under the circumstances and 
waited for an opportunity with ears and eyes wide open. 

Well, what did he see and what did he hear ? He 
heard the souiyis of hurry and bustle emanating from 
the inside of the palace ; and saw people going to and 
fro, the reason being that the chief queen was in labour, 
and had given birth to a child. 

Hardly had the noise died away and the stir lessened 
and calmness reigned supreme than there came a woman 
of commanding personality and demanded entrance. 

‘ Who are you ? ’ asked the sentry. 

‘ I am the Sutvi.’ 

‘ What do you want ? ’ 

‘ I want to write the destiny of the child.’ 

‘ Well, I shan’t let you in except on one condition.’ 

‘ What condition may that be ? ’ 

‘ You will declare to me what you will write.’ 

‘ Agreed,’ said the destiny-writer and got in, and 
in a very short space of time she returned and disclosed 
the startling tidings that the child born was destined 
to be the wife of her own father. 

The robber who overheard the conversation all the 
while, gave up the idea of plundering the palace and 
thought now of purloining the child instead. For being 
a loyal subject, notwithstanding his profession, he devout- 
ly wished that his king, the father of the people, should 
not be thus disgtaced or held up to public ridicule 
through the strange freaks of the relentless destiny-writer.. 
Purloining the child, the robber in his house situated 
in a ruined well, had the little thing reared with great care 


and tenderness by his wife till the thirteenth year was 

Now the king on his return alone from one of his 
hunting expeditions stopped to see this very well, dila- 
pidated and ruined though it was ; but what was his 
surprise to find a lovely girl of queenly appearance of 
about twelve or thirteen years old below ! His heart 
went out to her and she on her part being allured (for she 
had not hitherto seen the face of man) invited him to 
enter. But he was afraid at first to do so. For had he 
not heard of evil spirits who, taking the form of 
beautiful young women, inveigled men and caused their 
destruction ? Aft:r a while saying to himself ‘ Come 
what may,’ the king jumped into the well and was 
received at its foot by the girl who was a human not a 
supernatural being. 

At this Juncture the footsteps of the robber were heard 
outside, and quick as thought the king was concealed. 
Still the robber suspected that there was a stranger in 
his abode and called on his wife and foster-daughter to 
produce him ; but how could he be forthcoming when 
there was no remedy for denial from the lips of the one 
person acquainted with the fact ? 

However the king was discovered on a future occasion 
and the robber, cherishing no hostile spirit invited him to 
dinner and, as soon as the dinner was over, told him that 
the girl he had fallen in love with was his own daughter. 
To make the matter clear, he narrated from the beginning 
how he went to plunder the palace; how the chief-queen 
was being delivered of a child ; how after the child was 
born the Sutvi entered the palace after the dialogue with 
the sentinel mounting guard ; how she returned and told 
what sjie had written on the forehead of the child ; 
how in consequence he changed his original resolution 



and purloined the child so that the king’s name might 
not be blackened. ‘ But how can I avert destiny, your 
majesty,’ said he in conclusion, ‘for from the king to the 
humblest slave downwards we are all children of destiny. 
What is written on the forehead must come to pass. 
It is the adhrusta of ours we must blame and none else.’ 

The king sharing not the fatalist view, was over- 
whelmed with grief for having committed, though un- 
knowingly, the grave sin which ‘ the gods many and 
lords many ’ under the sublimary world have not the 
power to condone, drew his sword and ran it through 
his breast. 


Once a son who was in his teens asked his mother : 

‘ Mother dear ! What is God ? Where is He, and have 
you seen Him ? Do tell me.’ 

‘ Son dear ! ’ replied the woman : ‘ I do not know 
what God is, where He is, nor have I seen Him ; but if 
you want to see Him go to an impenetrable forest where 
solitariness reigns supreme, and repeat the name Ishwara, 
Ishwara with all-absorbing thought on Him alone for 
twelve years and there you will realize His presence — 
what He is, where He is.’ 

The son accordingly went to a forest and subjected 
himself to penances for twelve years and, after the. 
expiration of the period, returned home and told his 
mother dejectedly that he had not seen God. Whereupon 
the woman questioned : 

‘ How have you subsisted ? ’ 

‘ Whenever I felt the pangs of hunger, i went to this 
tree and that tree and ate the berries and leaves thereof, ’ 
was the reply. 



‘ Then you have not done your penances properly, ■ 
returned she, ‘ for you had adar. Go again to an 
interminable forest where solitude is not broken and 
repeat the name of Ishwara for twelve years if you want 
to see God.’ 

As advised, the son went to a forest and practised 
penances for a further term of twelve years ; and yet he 
did not see God. So he returned home and said : 
‘ Mother dear, I have not succeeded in seeing God 
though I have performed penances for a further period 
of twelve years.’ 

‘ How have you subsisted ? ’ asked the mother. 

‘ I have not subsisted on anything but had recourse 
to the expedient of fixing a round block of wood to the 
belly and thus have avoided the cravings of hunger, ’ 
replied the son-recluse. 

* Again you had adat, ’ said the woman. ‘ In a 
penance there ought to be no adar. So again do penances 
for twelve years and then you will assuredly see God.’ 

The man for the third time went to a forest and 
began penances there without using the expedient or 
eating the berries of the wilderness or leaves of*^fie 
ever-green woods. 

Now the twice twelve years’ meditation of our recluse 
stood as a memorial before Parameshwara j but He was 
always forgetting it. So one evening when He was 
driving His chariot in the megha-tnandal, the ever-kind 
Parwati-devi, His consort, reminded Him of the recluse ; 
whereupon without any tardiness He revealed Himself to 
the votary and said : — 

‘ O votary, I am extremely pleased with you. Ask 
any boon and it shall be granted unto thee. 

Fully realizing the presence of the Creator and 
emboldened by the words he humbly asked that whatever 



he desired might be crowned with success. With the 
boon thus conferred the recluse retired home and 
conferred benefits on mankind without distinction of 
caste or creed. The mother was the first person to be 
glad of her son’s contemplation having borne such 
beneficial results to man. 


In a certain country there lived a woman who had a son. 
He was of tender years. One day his mother was grind- 
ing corn in the mill, when the boy came to her and 
said : — 

‘ Mother, I am going to marry.’ 

‘ Whom ? ’ asked the mother. 

‘You,’ replied the child. 

‘ You are of tender years ; when you grow up then 
you may marry me, ’ said the mother good-humouredly, 
knowing the extreme youth of her son. 

‘ I am not, I have already grown big, ’ retorted 
the son. 

Hardly had she turned after hearing the reply than 
she saw her son growing tall and big, the langoti he 
had on falling off from him, and he with his face 
towards his mother going away from her, as if im- 
pelled on his course by some unseen force, and then 

The yearnings of the mother over the transformation 
and disappearance of her son, notwithstanding his 
unbecoming conduct, can better be imagined than 

[This is the legend current amongst Telu^us of 
Nanga Dev or the god of Marwadis (Jainas ?)]. 

folktales from INDIA 



Once upon a time a man was so sorely tried by 
daridrium that he seriously thought of going to a forest 
to drag out his miserable existence there by subsisting 
on the wild berries. So putting his stick under his arm 
and catching hold of his lota in one hand and boroo- 
gooloo tied in an handkerchief in the other he left the 
busy haunts of men. Reaching the forest, he tied the 
borodgooloo packet to one of the outspreading branches 
of a banyan tree and rested there. 

Now on that very day a princess on hfer way to her 
father-in-law’s halted in the same forest and missed her 
very valuable pearl necklace ; so her servants went and 
searched all about the dense Kir*r-r-r forest, ransacking 
every nook and corner to trace the thief. Their attempts 
seemed about to be futile when they espied our vanavasi. 
With suspicions aroused they went to him quickly and 
seeing a bundle on the branches of a tree they hastened 
to bring it down and opening it what was their surprise 
to find the very garland of pearls missed by their royal 
mistress ! 

The moral is drawn that when ill-luck or Sani 
pursues one even the bundle of Boroogooloo as if by a 
miracle is turned into a pearl necklace to arraign the 
possessor of same on a charge of theft innocent though 
he may be. • 


In India mosquitoes buzz in the ears dreadfully oi’ 
horribly and moreover prove sa no ordinary pest by their 
sharp bites extracting bloo£- In their connection a 
story is told— that when li mosquito drums in the 
tympanum of the eiflt it thii4ii& of ent«'i|f the organ 


with a fury with the express object of bringing out the 
man’s brain, but, before doing so, the creature laughs in 
derision and the laughter is the noise made in the ear. 


Once upon a time there was a sadhu residing in a 
certain country who had but few followers. On one 
occasion to this very country came another sadhu 
from distant climes. The new sadhu used to repeat the 
formula ‘ Bhagatmaya ’ at the time of getting up, taking 
his meals, taking his seat, going to bed and on other 
occasions, such as drinking water, performing ablutions, 
etc. The sadhu, who was settled in this country, used to 
exclaim Hari, Hari, Shiva, Shiva, on such occasions as 
were mentioned above. The repetition of Bhagatmaya 
only instead of the name of God very much struck the 
latter ; so with a view to finding out the inward meaning 
of the thing he invited the religious father to a meal and 
the invitation was accepted. 

As was natural in expectation of his guest the 
Hari-Shiva Sadhu was preparing the meal ; in fact, he 
had put the last of the chuppatees into the pan and was 
waiting to turn it over when he found that his water had 
run short. So away he ran to the staircased well hard 
by to fetch a potful of wa^er, telling his guest who had 
in the meantime arrived to make himself comfortable by 
squatting on the mat until his return. The sadhu com- 
plied with the request tp all appearance but, in truth, 
went after the host without his knowing it. 

To the Hari-Shiva Sadhu, the still waters of the well 
appeared to bubble up, foam and rise to the height of a 
palmyra tree or two and he was carried , away by the 
volume of the overflowing current until he knew no 

Folktales from india 


where he was. Thus for some time he was suspended 
between life and death ! but thanks to his stars he came 
across the end of a palm tree which he caught hold of 
in the manner of Bangaripitialoo and was reflecting 
whether he would be providentially saved from going to 
Yama, when a shoe-maker’s girl carrying a basket on her 
head met his gaze- To her he shouted with all his ex- 
hausted energies, ‘ O pilla, pilla ; will you rescue me ? ’ 
‘ Yes, ’ said, she, ‘ but on one condition that you will 
marry me.’ 

Whereupon the drowning man gave a promise which 
she made him repeat solemnly, though inaudibly, three 
times and then ran to her hut close by and bringing her 
three brothers of powerful build and great animal strength 
to the scene, the girl bade them rescue the man in the 
water who had promised to marry her. They threw to 
him in the current strong mats which he took hold of 
firmly by the fibrous ropes attached and continued to put 
underneath his body. Then they dragged him by 
superhuman strength to the bank with life and limb 
safe and sound. Thus was he saved from the peril. 

In harmony with his promise, the sadhu married the 
shoe-maker’s girl, lived with her and had by her two sons. 
Nine years elapsed and one day, recollecting his 
previous mode of life with tears in his eyes, he left his 
home without any one being aware of it. 

The next morning having covered a good distance 
overnight, the sadhu found himself on the outskirts of a 
city. Here hardly had he taken his seat and pensively 
thought again of his previous life than he saw an 
elephant approaching him. Being afraid, he turned 
aside with a view to avoid it ; for had he not read in the 
Nitishastra always to keep fifty paces, away from the 
Gajendra. Still the animal made straight towards him 


heeramma aud venkataswami or 

and, instead of doing any harm, poUred the contents of the 
poojaloo chemboo, which he was carrying over his head, 
sprinkled attar and paneeru over him, threw a garland 
of flowers round his neck, took him over the ambari and 
walking at a slow and majestic gait, reached the metro- 
polis where the inhabitants with one voice hailed the 
stranger as their sovereign. Thus as a sovereign the 
sadhu reigned in the land for four years. 

Now the two sons of the shoe-maker’s girl when they 
were come to years of understanding one day asked their 
mother, saying: 

‘ O mother, mother, what has become of our father ? ’ 

‘ Alas, I do not know what has become of your 
father, my dear sons,’ replied she ; ‘ but I remember 
vividly to this day that one night when cruel nature 
lulled me to heavy sleep, he abandoned me without a 
word ; he has not been, I am sorry to say, seen, nor 
heard of ever since.’ 

Listening to this with close attention and treasuring 
up every word of the pathetic little tale, the lads, without 
telling their mother, instinctively followed the path taken 
by their father and reached the very metropolis in which 
he was ! The king recognized them and employed them 
in his service without revealing himself and before long 
raised them to the highest offices and made them second 
to none in the whole realm. 

Paralysed by grief at thus being abandoned first by 
her husband and now by her sons, the woman too left the 
village and, strange to say, took the path trodden by her 
husband and her* sons and reached the very capital. 
Here she engaged herself in a menial capacity to a 

One morning the king, for the first time since his 
coronation, drove through the prostitutes’ quarters ; and 



the servant-woman, seeing him pass, exclaimed : ‘He is 
my husband, he is my husband, ’ and ran after the 
carriage. Whereupon the prostitutes catching hold of 
her by the hair, brought her away and administered a 
sound beating with cheepoorloo and cha^aloo, telling her 
at the same time that the king had expressed his dis- 
pleasure at the misdemeanour. 

Again, on the self-same evening the king passed 
through the prostitutes’ quarters and again the servant- 
woman following the royal carriage cried out, ‘ He is my 
husband, Tie is my husband.’ And forsooth would not a 
woman know him who had lived with her in conjugal 
happiness ? Again she received a similar castigation 
and reprimands coupled with warnings at the hands of 
her mistress in special and the followers of her profes- 
sion in general. But for all that her object was gained 
and the king recognized her ! 

So the next day he sent for his wife and after 
revealing himself to her and to their two sons he made 
the former the dowager-queen and the latter — one a king 
and the other a vazeer ; and was instantly back at the 
staircased well. After filling his pitcher with water he 
returned to his hermitage and found the Bhagatmaya 
sadhu squatting on the mat and the chuppatee in the pan 
requiring his immediate attention. Having turned it 
over he offered jalam to the sadhu to wash his hands and 
feet and, having washed himself, placed platters of plan- 
tain leaves before the invited guest and asked him to do 
justice to the meal; and humbly sitting himself by his side 
asked the permission to partake of his meal. 

The meal being over, the jadA«-host was lost in 
contemplation wondering whether his carrying away by 
the bubj^ling waters of the well and the rapid current of 
the neighbouring river-course ; his plucky rescue from 


the element by the shoe-maker girl’s brothers ; his 
marriage with the shoe-maker’s girl and for the space of 
nine years his living with her who bore him two sons ; 
his becoming king and reigning over the realm for four 
years ; his abdication of the throne in favour of his 
sons and the making of his wife the dowager-queen ; and 
ultimately and all of a sudden his finding himself after 
returning from the well in his humble residence with the 
invited Bhagatmaya sadhu sitting and the last chuppatee 
wanting to be turned over — wondering whether it was all 
an idle dream or a stern reality. But for a long time it 
remained inexplicable to him. So he stood reverentially 
with folded hands before the Bhagatmaya sadhu and 
begged for an explanation. The sadhu, who reached a 
higher stage of devotion, said : ‘ Bala, it is all God’s 
illusion or Bhagatmaya,' and he added, ‘ An untold 
space of time with mortals is comparable to a few 
ghatikas with the Creator of the Universe of living an4 
dead nature, nay of Time — that fell destroyer itself.’ And 
so the sadhu came to understand the inner meaning of 
the other sadhu' s formula. 



Once upon a time there was a wife who taking advan- 
tage of the unenquiring disposition of her husband, used 
to give him gunjee and kudgu and retain the rice for 
making into cakes which she herself ate secretly. 

So the husband kindly said one day : ‘ How is this 
dear, you do not partake of anything but set all before 
me ? Will you not take some ? ’ 

‘ You earn, it does not matter for me,’ replied the 



Now the husband, on one occasion, after taking his 
frugal (liquid) fare, left the house for his work in the 
fields but had hardly left when came the rain down in 
torrents and drove him back wet and shivering to the fire- 
place giving sufficient warmth. As the fire was dull he 
fanned and poked it, when to his surprise he discovered 
hidden beneath it a large rice cake just baked. 

This he ate and the truth dawned upon him that his 
wife had fed herself by making him starve. Thus found 
out, the woman’s disgust can better be imagined than 
described. By her surliness the ire of the simple peasant 
was aroused. So in the evening he fetched a ckintha- 
barikay and gave her a sound thrashing, advising her 
not to treat her husband so badly by looking more to 
herself than to her husband. A lesson learnt with such 
bitter experience is apt not to be forgotten, and we may 
be sure that the selfish woman remembered it all her 


Once a son-in-law went to a mother-in-law’s. On seeing 
him the old woman said : ‘ O son-in-law you have 
come. I have not got any grain in the house. I shall go 
and fetch some.’ 

Thus saying she left. But the man knew too well 
the inhospitable and selfish nature of his mother-in-law. 
So saying to himself, * I am not to be outwitted at any 
rate this time ’ be entered the mother-in-law’s house and 
discovered there a sugarcane, two balls of butter and 
passimu. Some time after, the woman came back saying 
that she was unsuccessful in retting anything. The 
son-in-law said ‘ O mother-in-law, mother-in-law, in 



your absence I had a sweet nap and dreamt a dream in 
which I saw a snake which was as long as the sugarcane 
in the house and whose eye-balls were like two balls 
of butter, and when the reptile’s head was crushed, so also 
I dreamt, it resembled passimu.* 

The mother-in-law in a moment made out what her 
son-in-law was driving at and that, at last, she was found 
out. So she placed before the latter much against her 
will, the passimu,' the butter and the sugarcane. Doing 
justice to them, however, the son-in-law, after saying 
Dhandamatta, dhandamatta, went back to his own house 
overjoyed in the fact that he had proved more than a 
match to his mother-in-law this time. 



Once upon a time iti a certain country there was a 
king. The king had no son, neither had the minister any. 
In consequence the grief was great ; and in a moment of 
extreme grief they promised to each cthe. that if one 
were to get a son and the other a daughter, or vice-versa, 
they were to be united by ties of love or married to each 

The grief, however, was destined to be short-lived 
or proved to be of short duration, for the queen shortly 
after the solemn declaration became enceinte and in 
course of time delivered of a son. The minister’s wife, 
too, conceived and brought forth a daughter. 

As time went on the children grew. On the one hand 
the minister’s daughter becoming so prudent in conduct, 
so beautiful in person and endowed by such charms and 
graces that the people exclaimed : ‘ We might find fault 
with the sun and the moon but not with this earthly 



Ramhha.' On the other hand the king’s son, with com- 
plete disrespect for Saraswati, threw away his books 
on the house-tops and in well-houses and contracted 
such vicious habits, that the people said that he was 
no meet companion for the lovely sensible minister’s 

Notwithstanding these disadvantages and frailties in 
his son, the king determined to get the minister’s daughter 
for him in marriage ; so he sent for the minister and 
opened negotiations. When grave objections were raised, 
the indulgent father by plausible answers explained 
away all of them one by one. Then as a last objection 
the minister said, * The prince does not attend darban 
even.’ Upon which the king hanging down his head 
reminded him of the promise made solemnly. Caught 
thus, the minister, keeping silent for a few minutes, said 
that he would give his word on a certain day. 

That day, after the performance of her ablutions, the 
minister’s daughter was dryii^g her long ringlets of jet 
black glossy hair in the rays of the sun from the terrace 
of her two-storied palace when came her father’s carriage 
making a rumbling noise. Without a second thought 
she ran hastily (for she remembered at the moment that 
that was the day on which her case was to be decided in 
royal court) and asked : — 

‘ Have you given your consent, father dear ? ’ 

‘ I have not, my darling, ’ replied the father ; ‘ How 
can I, having your best interest at heart, and knowing 
fully that the prince is a fool and quite unfit. For this 
I have incurred the displeasure of His Majesty, it is true, 
but it cannot be helped.’ 

‘ Give it father, dear, ’ the daughter said, ‘ the next 
time ypu meet the king. For if it is written on my fore- 
head by Brahma that I must be given to that prince cnly 1 


heeramma ANt) veukataswami or 

must be given, fool though he may be and at whatever 
cost. But let there be a stipulation that I must leave 
my (would-be) father-in-law’s house at 6 p.m. daily and 
return to his house each morning at 6 o’clock. ’ 

Need it be said that at the next meeting with the king, 
the minister gave his consent to the match, laying 
emphasis on her daughter’s condition to be fulfilled. 
This the king agreed to do in spite of its strange and 
binding nature and the marriage was celebrated with 
eclat and rejoicings throughout the dominions. 

In course of time the royal bride advanced towards 
puberty and the prince also reached to man’s estate, and 
•still there seemed to be no relaxation of the weird condition. 
As before it was in full force ; for hardly had the gong 
sounded the six o’clock evening hour than the palanquin 
arrived from the minister’s to convey her home. Upon 
this some of the young friends of the prince naturally 
made fun of him and spoke sarcastically. 

Taking this to heart he resolved within himself to do 
away with his life. So one night, putting on his jeri- 
battalu, he went to a well near a ruined palace and jumped 
into it. 

Now the well was a very old one and was fast crumbl- 
ing to decay. Roots of banyan and other powerful 
trees, by breaking through some of the strata of the anti- 
quated masonry work a few feet above water, by a 
natural process of intertwining, formed a strong matting; 
so you see that the prince was landed on nature’s 
network just close to a circular hole cut through to 
pass a chemboo to the waters below. 

With the early dawn came the old man in charge of 
the ruined well to draw water ; but what was his surprise 
to hear the moaning of a human being in distress 
emanating from the well below. He called out and 

folktales from INDIA 


asked who he was and how he had come to be in that 
situation, and receiving satisfactory replies the old man 
drew him up. Soon afterwards hearing his story in full 
and taking compassion of the young man, he gave him 
some Katika telling him that by applying it to the fore- 
head he would be converted into a fly and could thus 
follow his bride unseen by her when she set out from 
the palace. Having learnt for himself where she went 
he might easily gain possession of her if he carried 
out his stratagem carefully. In conclusion, the old 
man besought that the secret should not be revealed on 
any account or else his head would be shattered to one 
thousand pieces, and then took leave of the prince. 

That evening the prince, transforming himself into a 
fly, followed his wife and saw that, as soon as she left her 
palace and reached her father’s house, she did not remain 
there, but immediately casting off her clothes and putting 
on a cheeray of the finest white lilies and ravikay of the 
same flowers, she started and ^walked and walked until 
she reached a spot in a sequestered glen sheltered from 
human eyes where a banyan and pipal locked into each 
other’s embrace. Here on singing a melodious snatch of a 
song there came from heaven five damsels of queenly 
beauty mounted on a white elephant. Dismounting, these 
in company they went to a beautiful Konairoo and putting 
aside their dress on the river-bank stepped into it and in 
exuberance of their youthful spirits splashed and squirt- 
ed water on each other’s face and thus created great 
merriment amongst themselves. 

While the Kanyakaloo had been enjoying thus, the 
prince cast a look around and saw a number of garlands 
of pearls. Selecting the largest and exquisitely beautiful 
of thenv and imagining the same to be that of the chief 
Kanyaka, he took it and flew home ; and again taking 



human form by the removal of the kalika was soon 
found asleep in his cosy bed. 

When the day dawned and an attendant awoke him 
he rewarded the man handsomely saying that he had been 
dreaming a pleasant dream which he began to narrate in 
the hearing of his wife just arrived : — 

‘ Last night I thought I had followed my wife who, 
changing her ordinary costume on reaching her father’s 
house, put on a cheeray and ravikay of lilies, went to a 
place some distance off and situated in a sequestered 
glen, and on having given a song, five Kanyakaloo of great 
beauty came from heaven on a white elephant. Accom- 
panied by them, she went to a beautiful konairoo and 
diving into it began to play pranks with each other in 
the clement. Thus they engaged I came away with the 
largest and most beautiful carcanet of pearls lying along 
with their dresses on the margin of the konairoo. 

Soon after hearing this and realizing that that was 
not a dream but^a reality, her husband taking part in it, 
she ran to him and begged for the necklace. 

‘ I have not got it, ’ said the husband with sup- 
pressed laughter. 

‘ Yes, you have, pranapathy. ’ 

‘ Suppose I got it, what will you give me in ex- 
change for it, priyay ? ’ 

‘ My life, my lord.’ 

^ I do not want your life, but promise only that you 
will not leave me in the nights.’ 

‘ I cannot promise this till the morrow.’ 

‘ Neither will I give the necklace till then.’ 

In the evening when she met her companions, the 
Kanyakaloo, she told them that it was her husband, 
by some inexplicable phenomenon, made off with the 
necklace of pearls missed by their eldest sister yesterday 



night, which, however, he promised to give on condition 
she would stay with him at nights. On this, as if a thought 
struck her, the eldest Kanyaka said: ‘O sisters, I under- 
stand the whole thing now. There is nothing inexpli- 
cable. With a view to make his wife stay at home he 
had recourse to this stratagem. In fact, how could he be 
without his wife, young as he is, ayo papum. But I 
advise you, sister — pointing to the prince’s wife — to tell 
your husband to come with us in the form of a fly when we 
go to Indrasabha to dance and then after metamorphosing 
himself to play the drum. Keeping time to the music, 
we would play with great spirit and being pleased, Iftdra 
would ask as to who played the drum. The prince is to 
answer that he played it. Then after explanation of the 
object of his coming when he would be asked to choose 
his wife from the Kanyakaloo, who would all be dressed 
in one costume ; he is to select that kanyaka alone on 
whose left knee he would see a fly sitting.’ 

The next morning the wife beaming with joy repeated 
word for word the advice tendered by his sisters by 
following which she said she would become his for all 
ghatikas of the day and night. Greatly delighted the 
husband carried out the plan to the very letter and his 
efforts were crowned with success. The king also was very 
much pleased that he was no longer bound by this peculiar 
condition now that the daughter-in-law had become 
matured. Without losing time he solemnized the nuptial 
ceremony declaring to the world at the same time that his 
son had now become a sensible man, and had given up all 
vicious habits. In fact he turned over a new leaf. The 
prince was thus enabled to enjoy the company of his 
wife who cast in her lot with him, without the least 
thought that he is a factor in the regeneration of the 
world. But what became of the man who gave the 



katikay ? He is dead. His head is shattered to one 
thousand pieces. Was this the return for the good he had 
done and who is responsible for it ? The wife who 
persisted in knowing how the husband first followed her. 
In a moment of extreme joy he told her with what 
disastrous result we know. But when a woman is bent 
upon knowing anything she will not rest quiet till she 
knows it. Pertinacity is her nature, broken reed she may 
be but man must be careful as not to disclose secrets. 


A Zamindar had two sons. One was put to work in 
the fields, and the other sent to a Patasala. 

Now the mother loved the one who was given to 
manual labour and did not care for the other seeking 
after knowledge. This the father found out one day by the 
manner in which the former received substantial foods 
and the latter only humble fare. So, calling out his wife, 
asked : ‘ Dear, why do you treat one boy in one way, and 
the other in another way ? ' 

‘ Our eldest boy works in the field and he is given 
good food to keep up his health. Besides he earns it. 
But the other boy is only studying, which is not hard work, 
and is not earning an errati yaigani I give him only frugal 
fare ; so you see why my treatment differs,’ replied the 

‘ But you are mistaken,’ said the husband, and send- 
ing for two balls of butter he put them on the chest of his 
two sons. The one on the chest of the eldest son remain- 
ed firm and solid, while the other on the chest of the 
second son melted away. Drawing his wife’s attention to 
this, he remarked that the boy who was leading the life of 
an husbandman was certainly not as hard-worked as the 



other boy who was pursuing his studies ; the butter testified 
by its melting away almost as soon as it was put on his 
chest — one of the important parts of the body. 

For mental work is greater than physical labour : the 
one calls forth energies from the seat of the brain while 
the other calls from all the limbs, as also the former 
taxes a man’s strength, but the latter adds strength to it 
and leads to prolongation of life. ' So you see, it is the 
brain that should be recuperated by solid foods, not the 
limbs, and it should not follow from this that our eldest 
son should be made to live on humble fare, in which case 
he would not be better able to bear the brunt of labour in 
the fields. My only aim in telling you all this is that 
you will look upon your sons with an uniform kindness, 
replied the husband in conclusion. 


In a certain country there was only one barber. To 
noblemen’s houses alone he would go and even then only 
in palanquins sent by the noblemen themselves. So the 
difficulties of the other classes were very great, so much 
so that if one were to get himself shaved then it was 
necessary for him to go to the barber, wait there for a 
considerable time after payment of fees, and at length 
have his object accomplished. 

Now to this country there came another barber from 
the Southern country. He settled and began his profes- 
sion in the manner followed in his own country going to 
the residences and shaving there. Finding what a con- 
trast there was between him and the resident barber , 
people began to patronize the former and he became very 

The other barber heard of this and his wrath knew 
no bounds : while the grudge was still fresh in his mind, 



he confronted his rival on a public road. 'Stopping this 
palanquin, he called him. The barher came and taking his 
professional brother for some one in high position, saluted 
him, on which the latter demanded in vehement terms, 
‘ Who gave you authority to go to residences and shave 
at nominal charges when I have the monopoly of shaving 
here.’ Nonplussed, the other asked pardon deferentially. 
The resident barber then asked in a subdued tone : 

‘ What qualification do you possess ? ’ 

‘ I can shave one-half of the face of a Rajah’s sentinel 
while he is asleep. Prithee, what is yours ? ’ 

‘ I can shave the other half.’ 

‘ We will put our qualification to the test.’ 

‘ I agree.’ 

Now the barbers, as agreed, tried their skill one night 
on a palace guard, one shaving one half of the face and 
the other the other half when the guard was asleep. 
When he got up at the sound of the muezzin for morning 
worship, great was his surprise and sorrow to find that 
his moustaches and beard had completely disappeared. 
So running to the king, he said : — 

‘ O Khadawand somebody has changed heads with 


‘ Well, who may he be ? ’ 

‘ A mischief-monger to be sure.’ 

‘ Find out and bring him.’ 

The guard sought in vain to find out the man who 
had imposed on him and had almost given up his search, 
when he saw a pandaram on his way to Benares and took 
hold of him. ‘ What injustice is this ? What injustice . is 
this ? ’ the pandaram cried in great dismay. £ut 
the guard, not heeding his cries, said : ‘ Come, co-^ 
you rascal, ’ and dragged him before the klitg and 
charged him with having stolen his head. The king, 


who was another ‘ Chowpat Raja, ' ordered the pandaram 
to give the Mahotnedan his head. ‘ ORaja, in obedience 
to the royal mandate, I am willing to give him his head, 
but you will be pleased to order him to give me mine, ' 
said the pandaram having his wits about him. 

On this the barbers were sent for. The new barber 
cut merely the skin of the throat of the guard but would 
not proceed further for mercy’s sake, but the other with- 
out the least compunction severed the head from the trunk 
— the man, however, as if his senses had come back at the 
last moment, gasped out with his last breath : ‘ The head 
is my own; only it is clean shaved.’ The case being clear 
thus, the pandaram was released who thanking his stars 
for so favourable a turn the events had taken, at once left 
for Benares so as to avoid further mishaps. 

The resident barber complimented the new barber for 
his skill in his profession yet chiding him for non-exercise 
of cruelty.. From that time they pulled on together very 


Once upon a time there lived a Marvcadi who put up a 
hut of mud and wattle in a lonely spot of a forest and 
made it tolerably secure by wooden doors. In it he locked 
his wife ; and such was his trust in her constancy that 
when he used to go to the chowk to ask for alms he 
would play on his one-stringed instnuuent to the accom- 
paniment of a song, Tukki bikki sub, pativrata aik.' 
This was his only, theme ; and a young man, who for 
several weeks heard it but could not understand the 
meaning, one day followed the beggar stealthily to his 
house. ^ What was his surprise to find a solitary dwell* 
ing in a forest-like, locality with a, beautiful woman 


HEERAMMA Al^D venkataswami or 

in durese ; and the meaning of the strain now became 
clear to pin. 

With the sweeping condemnation of chastity rankling 
in his mind and fascinated as he had been by the charms 
of the Mar wadi woman the young man went to her one 
day in her husband’s absence and demanded in a loud 
tone ‘ Open your dwelling, or else I would burn it . ’ 

Horrified, the woman opened it and made friends 
readily, she being of the fourth class ; and the next day the 
fellow went to the chowk and, buying a stringed instru- 
ment, began scraping on the strings to the accompaniment 
of a counter-song, Tukki bikki aik, sub samsar. This 
struck the beggar and he was on the qui vive to find out the 
meaning when one day he saw a pair of sandals outside 
the house. Asking his wife how they came to be there, he 
was informed that in his absence a man almost prevailed 
upon her virtue, unmistakable evidence of which she said 
was to be found in what the fugitive left behind him. 
Then she argued there was no use staying alone, cut off 
from human habitation and questioned what would 
become of them suppose he were, for instance, to become 
blind and no neighbours being near at hand unluckily 
to be helpful to them. 

Mistrusting his wife to a certain degree the man 
replied : 

‘ Where I am there I shall remain and, notwithstand- 
ing the disadvantage you speak of, I shall still sing and 
maintain you well as myself here without changing my 
habitation.’ Sending for the stringed instrument, he began 
to play on it and to sing on it with both eyes shut as if 
he had become blind already. This was what the faithless 
woman expected ; for in a trice the gay Lothario or the 
'gallant escaped, making the Marwadi not a whit wiser 
for his song and the careful isolation of his wife, 



A GIRL had seven brothers. She had neither father 
nor mother. Near their house in touch with the forest 
there grew a sandalwood tree. The brothers after 
tending the sheep would come to the house and say : 

‘ O sister dear ! Pray open the door. We your seven 
brothers Lakshmaya, Butchaya, Chittaya, Kautaya, 
Varadhaya, Mamaya and Pothaya have come.’ Where- 
upon the girl would come out and minister to their 

Things went on pleasantly and smoothly for a consi- 
derable time ; sister and brothers lived happily together. 
But one day the stock of firewood ran out in the house 
and the girl went briskly to the forest to find firewood. 
Having succeeded, she returned but was watched by a 
wicked Rakshasa who told her husband on his return. 
' O dear, dear, there was a very beautiful girl here. If you 
could get hold of her and eat her, 1 am sure, you will 
become possessed of beauty such as hers.’ Highly 
pleased at the bait tne Rakshasa without losing time 
traced the house by the godhamooloo (thrown along the 
track by the girl so as not to lose her way) and learning 
how the house opened to the brothers, went to the place 
smacking his lips one day and spoke thus : ‘ O sister 
dear 1 Pray open the door, open the door. We your 
seven brothers have come.’ But the girl thought within 
herself ‘ One of my brothers gives out their name (which 
the ogre forgot) always and I do not know the reason of 
their departure from the rule this time. Further, the 
voice of the person asking me to open the door on behalf 
of my brothers was like that of one of my brothers it is 
true, but the persons might not be my brothers. May be 
enemies, who knows ? ’ And hardly had these thoughts 


crossed the mind of the girl than the sandalwood tree 
spoke : ‘ Do not open the door, O Siromani. It is not 
your brothers but an enemy.’ Confirmed in her suspi- 
cions, the girl did not open the door. 

The Rakshasa cut down the tree and again spoke: 
‘ O sister dear ! Pray open the door. We your seven 
brothers have come. Open the door.’ 

This time the root spoke : ‘ Do not open the door, 

Q Siromani. It is not your brothers but an enemy,’ and 
the girl did not open the door. 

Thus frustrated in his attempt, the Rakshasa cover- 
ing the root with mud placed a nail on the door step in 
great anger and went on his way. 

Shortly afterwards came the real brothers and ad- 
dressed their sister, ‘ O sister dear ! Pray open the door.. 
We your seven brothers Lakshmaya, Butchaya, Chittaya, 
Kautaya, Varadhaya, Mamaya and Pothaya have come. 
Open the door.’ To this the root of the sandalwood tree also 
seconded: ‘ They are your brothers. Do open the door.’ 
The girl came and opened and put her right foot on the 
doorstep, and in that instant the nail imbedded itself in 
her foot and she became so ill that nothing could bring 
her round. 

When she was expiring, she requested her brothers, not 
to cremate or bury her body but to put it in a glass case and 
suspend it to a tree. The brothers acceded to her wishes. 
Their grief for their deceased sister was so poignant that 
they broke up their home ; followed different profes- 
sions ; and left for foreign countries in their broken- 

Now to the forest there came a king to hunt and, 
aiccidenlally seeing the glass case, had it brought down 
and opened and what was his surprise to find the corpse 
of a lovely girl in her teens, still fresh and showing no 



signs whatever of corruption. He carried it to his palace 
and admired the beauty of the girl’s form for a 
number of days and one day, seeing something in one of 
Jier tiny soft feet, the king drew it out and Wonder of 
wonders ! the girl came to life. 

In course of time the king, allured by the graces of 
the sylvan beauty, married her amidst the rejoicings of 
his subjects in the sumptuous feasts he provided, the 
grand nautches he arranged and the splendid fireworks 
side by side with illuminations resembling day, he got up 
for them on the verge of beautiful sheets of crystal water 
close to his highly charming summer-house. He was 
enjoying conjugal happiness, when one day came the 
queen’s brother who had become a bangle-seller. Taking 
one of her hands he began putting bamgles on to her 
wristlets, when the tears began to flow down his cheeks. 
The queen asked the cause of this and he replied : 
‘ O sovereign lady ! Your hand is exactly like the 
hand of my deceased sister. So I could not restrain 
myself from weeping.’ Upon which the queen made 
him tell his life’s story. He did so, and she finding it 
her own, embraced this long-lost brother whom and the 
others she thought to he dead and wept for joy. Soon 
afterwards, the other six brothers also were found because 
of the diligent enquiries caused to be made in countries 
far and near by the king at the renewed entreaties of his 
loving wife, whose mind was now set at rest and 
her joy complete. Here there is the acme of connubial 
bliss — the Rani with her loving husband and her sweet 
newly-born babe together with her seven brothers holding 
lucrative posts in the State under their royal brother-in- 
la.w and I am here. The queen gave me a silk sari 
and khuncholi when I went to her and I have just 




A POOR fakeer had a daughter. To their house a fakeer 
poorer still would come and beg and receive alms occa- 
sionally. One day the girl was preparing keer and this 
fakeer came and rending earth and heavens by his cries 
for alms at length concluded thus : — 

‘ This is the first place this day in which I have asked 
alms. I must get here or I shall not get anywhere. 
Besides I have to go to four or five houses more. Don’t 
keep me waiting.’ Upon this the girl’s temper became 
uncontrollable and she, taking a ladleful of the burning 
hot keer from the pan, poured it on the head of the 
beggar saying: ‘ Here, take it, you thankless wretch;’ and 
the result was a blister of monstrous size on the fakeer's 

This blister the angels from heaven warned the fakeer 
in a dream not to'interfere with in any way whatsoever. 
And wonder of wonders ! at the end of nine months it 
burst and out of it popped a sweet-complexioned infant 
who first of all asked for nourishment. In course of 
time she grew and became so beautiful a maiden that 
none excelled her in beauty in the whole realm. 

Now one day the Rani of the place saw her and 
greatly struck by her transcendent beauty reasoned with 
herself thus : ‘ I am indeed not beautiful. The beauty 

of my face is not to be compared with that of the girl’s 
left foot. I am sure the Raja would discard me or I 
shall fall from his estimation if he comes across her 
some day. So I must do away with her.’ With this 
resolution she sent some of her servants who interrogated 
the girl : 

‘ Who are you ? ’ 



‘ I am the motherless daughter of a poor fakeer ’ was 
the reply. 

‘ Give us that carcanet of jewels glittering on your 

‘ O sirs, I would not part with it ; it is so dear to me.’ 

But they took it by force in accordance with their 
mistress’ instructions and gave it to her. She exulted for 
already she knew that in it was bound up the life of the 
poor girl who died the instant it was hung up in the 
queen’s room. 

Again the fakeer was warned in a dream not to bury 
her but to lay her in an adjoining forest under a sandal- 
wood tree with the blue vault of heaven for a covering. 
He accordingly did so; and where she was laid there grew 
in profusion flower trees of many kinds, of varied hues and 
rich odours all in full bloom ; mere nature could not 
have beautified a place in such a manner. The perfumes 
were felt for miles around and the Raja of the place, who 
came to hunt in the forest on this side on one occasion, 
attracted by the very strong and most sweetly agreeable 
perfumes that ever were, came to the spot where the 
sandalwood tree was. He was surprised beyond measure 
and could not help exclaiming, ‘ O what a place ! nature 
sc luxurious and delectable,’ and seeing a number of 
attractive beedas lying by the side of what he found to 
be the corpse fresh and blooming of a girl of high 
virginal beauty, said to himself, ‘ What, if I take a beeda 
and chew it ? ’ Hardly had he taken it and wondered 
at the queen of beauty than there appeared before him 
four invisible paris guarding the enclosure. They took 
hold of the Raja by the hand and asked : — 

‘ O Raja, you really mean to eat the beeda, you ? ’ 

‘ Yes,’ said he. 

‘ Then go and fetch that carcanet of jewels hung up 



in your wife’s room.’ He brought it ; and the dead girl 
came to life and herself offered the heeda to the Raja and 
the couple were united together by the paris chanting the 
bridal song. 

The new queen is there with her royal husband, the 
old queen having paid the extreme penalty of the law for 
her crime ; we are here. Now go and come again ; my 
story is at an end. 


Once upon a time there was a despotic king. On one 
occasion he sent forth a decree that each and every one 
of his subjects should send in their daughters to the palace 
on their reaching the twelfth year. Needitbesaid that 
the words of the decree were complied with of course with 
all seeming gladness ; for the arbitrary nature of the 
bestial man had passed into a proverb. But all the same 
the people looked with horror and indignation upon this 
wholesale disregard for the virtue of their daughters’ 
honour. When they could endure it no longer, they 
summoned all their courage and not afraid of their 
lives had recourse to a stratagem. The stratagem was 
that they selected a sprightly and middle-aged woman 
froai the courtesan class suffering from bubo, syphilis 
and gonorrhoea and what not, and passing her off for a 
virgin daughter of theirs sent her into the palace. 

The result was, that the king found himself the un- 
enviable possessor of the cruel venereal diseases. Aware 
of this but with a view to taunt, the minister came and 
said : ‘ O king ! will you be pleased to hold a darbar ? ’ 
‘ There is a regular darbar here ’ replied the king. Such 
was the excruciating pains he suffered that, without los- 
ing a minute, he sent for his mother and made a vow that 



henceforth he would look upon other men’s daughters as 
his own sisters. That vow he had kept to the end of his 
life, sensuous though he had been. The people also 
congratulated themselves that their stratagem had borne 
such good fruit. 


In a certain city there was a Hindu temple of great 
architectural beauty but there was no deity in it. This 
mattered not to the king’s daughter who used to go and 
make her circumambulations of the edifice perhaps with no 
seriousness or piety. F ollowing in her footsteps, a common 
girl would go and make pradakshina reverentially three 
times. This done she would fall to her work of pound- 
ing rice, for which purpose she used to take with her 
rolloo rokali from her mother-in-law’s house. 

This had continued for some time when one day there 
came a Linga — we do not know whence it came — and 
caught hold of the Athintee-Kodaloo’s feet and said : 

‘ I am extremely pleased with you, girl, ask any boon 
and it shall be granted unto you.’ 

The bewildered girl summoned all her courage and 
reverentially asked : ‘ O Swaminada, if it pleases You, 
grant that I may see the passing away of the soul of 

Soon after the boon was conferred, an opulent man, 
who had enjoyed the eight pleasures, died. The girl saw 
his soul hanging on to a tree after leaving the body with 
great reluctance and shed tears, profusely thinking within 
herself ‘ It is because of the sweets enjoyed in life that 
the soul is so unwilling to go away completely from the 


Now this shedding of tears was observed by the girl’s 
brother-in-law and reported to her husband. The man 
at once suspected her of infidelity and little knowing her 
sympathetic nature or remembering her little experience 
of the world, called his wife and roared out : 

‘ Why did you shed tears ? ’ 

‘ F or nothing ’ was the reply. 

‘ You call this nothing. Explain yourself or worse 
will befall you.’ 

‘ You will repent of it.’ 

‘ I do not care.’ 

The girl explained herself fully for fear of receiving 
bad treatment at the hands of her husband. And then 
(would you believe it ?) her head was shattered into 
thousand pieces. This was because of her revealing 
God’s maya or illusion. 

Kabeerdass was very anxious to see Kalidass and Kali- 
dass in turn was anxious to see Kabeerdass, but for 
some reason or other they could not for a long time come 
to a meeting. However, Kabeerdas, one day, started on 
his way and so tired was he, the way being so long, that he 
asked an ass to take him. Simultaneously Kalidass also 
started and he too getting tired asked a wall to take him. 
The one on an ass and the other on a wall, Kabeerdass 
and Kalidass, met each other and, having asked their 
respective vahanas to retire, they fell to talking together 
for hours on things spiritual and on things material. 


A CERTAIN king had seven sons. All of them had 
married except the youngest. This last son said one day, 



* Father, father, I would like to go to distant countries 
and select a girl for myself, the most beautiful I can find, 
and then marry her.' So, taking with him as much 
money as would be sufficient, he started. In course of 
time, reaching a strange country he passed the night at a 
Paidharalloo Peddammah's paying a vara for the lodging. 

‘ Whence come you, my son ? ’ said the Paidharalloo 

‘ I come from a distant country.’ 

‘ May I know the object of your coming ? ’ 

‘ I want to select a most beautiful girl (to wed) as red 
as guriginja, as straight as a Koodhuru, possessing a waist 
like that of a wasp, and with no defect either in the hands 
or feet.’ 

‘ I have a daughter such as you describe. Do not be 
anxious,' said the woman. 

Easily taken in by the bait, the prince made over all 
the money he had to the Paidharalloo Peddammah who, 
on receiving it, brought a covered cage into which she had 
put previously a rat, and said : ‘ Here is your bride. Do 
not open the cage till you reach your home and are in 
your room.’ 

He laid up her injunctions in his mind, took the cage 
and in due course reached his home and what was his 
surprise on opening it to find a rat come out and ran up 
a wall ! This becoming known to his parents and rela- 
tions he was covered with shame and confusion and his 
sisters-in-law found occasion to taunt him by addressing 
their mother-in-law thus : 

‘ O utta, utta, why should we sweep your son’s room ? 
Why should we plaster it now your son’s wife has come ? 
Why don’t you tell her to do it ? ’ 

Th&Deepavali festival has now come when the houses 
require a thorough whitewashing ; and the prince was 

102. HeeraMma ai<d VenRataswami or 

sorrowfully meditating when with the onomatopoetic 
sound of kick, kick, down came the rat and said : 

‘ O Prince, do not be sorry. Let the chunam be 
brought and I will whitewash your room.’ Saying so, the 
rat humbly entreated the assistance of its community 
which was promptly given. The rats dipped themselves 
in the chunam-^ots duly brought and ran up the walls in 
all directions. Thus was the room whitewashed. 

Some time after this, the sisters-in-law again clamour- 
ed teasing the young bride, ‘ Mother-in-law, why don’t 
you send your youngest daughter-in-law to fetch water ? 
Our necks have become quite sore.’ Again the prince 
was filled with sorrow. Again the rat came and said : 

‘ O Prince, do not be sorry but send for a brass 

With the help of its race the rat had the vessel which 
was brought in duly carried to the adjoining well. The 
vessel was filled but to what purpose. It could not be 
brought up even by the united exertions of the whole rat- 
tribe. Upon which our rat set up a wailing : ‘ O Prince, 

I really pity you. It is I who am the cause of your being 
in this trouble, not you.’ 

Now this weeping and wailing fell on the sympathetic 
ears of Parvati in the Kalkigandhari rathri or middle of 
the night, who at once said to Parameshwara who sat 
beside her : ‘ O Lord, do get up, get up. I hear cries of 
distress. Let us go and enquire.’ So they went and enquir- 
ed and the rat unfolded the complete tale of woe, saying 
‘ O Aya, O Amma, for the sake of getting a partner the 
poor prince spent all the money he had and I was given 
unto him. That Paidharalloo Peddammah deceived him 
out and out. His melancholy has no bounds. When 1 
could not relieve his distress even a little of it wit|i all the 
efforts of ray race in order to avoid the sisters-in-law’s 



jeering to which the prince is subjected 1 set up a loud 

Hearing this sad tale, Parameshwara at once turned 
the rodent into a girl of twelve summers with andkailoo, 
tnoorwooloo, pavadaloo and other female paraphernalia 
and gay clothes on. Beautified thus, she entered the house 
with a brass vessel on her head ; the husband in an ecstasy 
of delight fell into a swoon. 

In due course, the prince’s wedding was celebrated 
with great splendour and rejoicing and ere long he ascend- 
ed the throne of his father because of his deserts which 
now began to shine forth more than those of his six 
brothers. In his country now he is prosperous and 
enjoying every comfort coupled with happiness with his 
wife, his aged parents, his brothers and his sisters-in-law 
who by the by now gave up taunting him because of his 
having brought a really charming woman for wife ; and 
we are drinking here conjee water. Now go ; the night 
has far advanced. 

In a certain country there lived a Brahmin who used to 
go on his begging rounds and get uncooked rice more 
than his wants. Whatever was required he would keep, 
and convert the rest into cash. In this manner he made 
much money and laid it by. 

One day he confronted a prostitute tO whom he put 
the query : ‘ Has any one employed you or will you allow 
yourself to be employed by any one? ’ Being told in reply 
that she was open to an engagement, he instantly paid 
her fifty rupees and went into the bazaar. 

Here at an oilman’s, he purchased two pice worth of 
oil but hardly had he left the shop when he stumbled 


against a slab spilling the oil. Looking at this the oil- 
man humourously observed, ‘ O oil has become cheap ! ’ 
and the Brahmin, seriously thinking that oil really had 
become cheap, broke the 500 pots of oil arranged 
in the shop, spilling the contents. Whereupon the oil- 
man filed a suit against him with the Kotwal for damage, 
but for some reason or other the case was dismissed. 
Again, at another shop the Brahmin purchased two pice 
worth of oil and reaching home took a good nulgu bath 
and wearing a silk-bordered pancha or dhoti and gold 
laced angavasthram went to the prostitute’s. 

The prostitute received him with open arms. Never- 
theless it took her two hours to bathe, two hours to dress 
and it was five o’clock in the morning before she sat 
beautified and dressed on the cot beside the Brahmin. 

Said the prostitute throwing her arms round the 
Brahmin’s neck, ‘ O Lover, do tell me a storj .’ 

‘ What story may I tell you, dear ? from Bhagavatam, 
Bharadhum or Ramayanam.' 

‘ Tell a story from the Ramayanam.’ 

‘ There are seven Kandas (cantos) in Ramayanam. 
Balakanda, Ayodhyakanda, Sundarakanda, Yudha- 
kanda, Aranyakanda and Utharakanda. From what 
kanda may I tell? ’ 

‘ From the Yudhakanda.’ 

‘ What part? ’ 

‘ That part relating to the burning of Lanka by 

‘ May I narrate that part or show it in realism or 
give a realistic picture of it ? ’ 

‘ Show it in realism or give a realistic picture as you 
think best.’ 

Hearing this, the Brahmin took a valuable koka or 
sari and igniting or burning a portion of it applied to the 


prostitute’s house. It was the month of Vaisakh whci^ 
everything is dry and easily takes fire ; and the house, 
costing many hundreds of rupees, was burnt to ashes in 
the twinkling of an eye together with the valuable prop- 
erty in jewellery and clothes, etc., which it contained. 

Filliping his fingers, singing the song of the burning 
of k-anka by Hanuman, he went on his way ; and the 
prostitute without losing time preferred a suit with the 
magistrate against him, and the suit like the previous 
one was dismissed and the Brahmin got off this time too 
(without burning his body). 

Evidently the oilman and the prostitute were not satis- 
fied with the decisions arrived at in the courts which were 
said to have been regularly constituted and, unanimously 
agreeing that their cases would be favourably settled in a 
State Court, they went to the Brahmin and said : 

‘ O Brahmin, will you come to the Native State thirty 
stages hence so that we may have our cases resettled ; 
for certainly we have been wronged.’ 

' Ganga nainu ranoo ’ replied he at once and, con- 
sidering a little, said : ‘ If you pay me five rupees per 

stage and you, prostitute, allow me to spend my time in 
your company, then I may make up my mind to go with 

The oilman and the prostitute consenting to the terms, 
the Brahmin started with them taking with him his vankara 
kuna, panchapatra, chemboo and vootharaini. In course 
of time they reached the Native State and losing no time 
started for the royal court- As they neared it, the Brah- 
min said : ‘lam not going to move a step further until 
I am given the oilman’s silk-bordered dhoti.' This was 
given ; for both the prostitute and the oilman knew what 
kind of man he would turn out to be df refused. Stylishly 
wearing it, our hero went to the first mounted guard 


followed by the prostitute and the oilman, and the sentry 
taking them for a troupe or company of strolling Bhaga- 
vatam players or minstrels, the Brahmin being the 
manager, the prostitute the dancer and singer and the 
oilman the sanaykadu, asked the manag;r what remunera- 
tion he would give for letting them in. ‘ Half of what I 
get ’ was the ready reply ; and with similar promises to 
the seven rows of sentinels they got access to the royal 

Erelong the king came. The complaint was lodged. 
The hearing was fixed and the oilman called on a certain 
day when the Brahmin beckoned to the king point- 
ing two fingers, and the king suspecting that two 
thousand rupees were offered dismissed the suit. When 
the prostitute was called, again the Brahmin made a sign 
pointing three fingers and the king suspecting that three 
thousand rupees were now offered, dismissed the suit 

Now the Brahmin exculpated from all the charges, 
the king asked him of the promised sum, Rs. 5,000. ‘ I 

have not even a torri gavva (broken shell) with me 
replied he. I only meant that the oilman be fined Rs. 200 
and the prostitute Rs. 300.’ 

Accepting this as an empty excuse and frowning his 
brow, the king sentenced the Brahmin to receive fifty 
lashes till the back was lacerated and bled. 

Coolly accepting this. His Majesty’s pleasure, the 
delinquent Brahmin said: 

‘ If it pleases Your Majesty, I have a very humble 
request to make.’ 

‘What is it ? Say on,’ rejoined the king. 

The request is. Your Majesty, that I gave my vaku 
dcthMM or solemn promise to the first guard that I shall 
give him half of what I get here ; in the same manner 

Folktales from india 


half of what I get to the second ; half of what I get to 
the third ; half of what I get to the fourth ; half of what 
I get to the fifth ; half of what I get to the sixth and 
half of what I get to the seventh. As the three dathams 
— manodatham, dhanna datham and vaku dathant — are 
sacred, not to say binding, and these cannot be violated 
or retracted, 1 earnestly entreat of Your Majesty to divide 
the reward evenly between the guards and myself. 

Laughing in his sleeves the king admired the man for 
the cunning tricks displayed and sent him away with 
presents revoking his order of punishment. 

Thus was our hero a gainer. Besides these presents 
he had, as already stated, amassed Rs. ISO for travel- 
ling 300 miles ; achhapatra or doles of rice in the villages 
or towns visited and favours gratis at the hands of the 
prostitute who, being not ‘ righted,’ now took three hand- 
fuls of earth and putting on the Suryanarayana, cursed the 
Brahmin, the magistrate and the king. As for the oil- 
man he kept quiet feeling the loss in his mind. Now go 
(and come) your house is distant. The clouds are 
gathering in the high heavens (rain expected of course) 
and your food might be getting cool. 

There was once a certain merchant who suffered a 
reverse of foitune and became so poor that it was with 
great difficulty he maintained his wife and himself. 
One day, however, he was so unsuccessful that he could 
not get anything even to buy a morsel of bread and he 
told this to his wife. Perfectly chaste as she had been 
the woman did not know what to do as hunger was getting 
the bettej: of her, but being possessed of great beauty and 
personal attraction she, as if she lost her head at the 

108 heeramma and venkataswami or 

mohient, went to where young gallants congregate with a 
view to attract their attention, but they did not care a bit 
for her. Completely humiliated at the frustration of her 
object though she had stooped so low, she was returning 
dejectedly wholly absorbed in her thoughts when some 
one pulled her sari aside and disappeared. She did no* 
understand the meaning and this so worked in her mind 
that the woman made a clean breast of the whole affair 
to her husband. 

‘ O dear, dear,’ he said, ‘ I understand the whole 
thing now. It is because of my not having lusted after 
w'omen that strange men did not lust after you. I re- 
member vividly having pulled aside the sari of a woman. 
So you see that your sari was pulled aside, your chastity 
remaining untouched even though you offered yourself.’ 

Before long God favoured the ex-merchant and he 
becaihe as rich as Kubera. His wife shared his pros- 
perity but she always blamed herself for her weakness. 

A MERCHANT finishing his business in the shop one day 
went home and found his wife in an ocean of grief. He 
asked her the cause. She would not tell him. Again he 
asked her the cause and then with tears in her eyes she 
said, ‘ O dear ! dear ! when you were out, a man pulled 
aside my sari.’ The merchant was stunned when he him- 
self, it is strange to relate, pulled aside another man’s 
wife’s sari at that very hour and reflected on the wise ‘ it 
is because of my having pulled the sari of another man’s 
wife my wife’s sari was pulled.’ And he told so to his 
wife when she grieved the more saying, ‘ I would to God 
you have hot committed that piece of indiscretion and 
allowed the undue blemish to be attached to me even wh^h 
1 am dead and turned to dust.’ 

PoLlCtALES tl4DlA 



In a certain country there was a king. Like all other 
ordinary mortals, he had gone the way of all flesh ; ahd 
funeral ceremonies were performed over him by the son 
who now ascended the throne. 

The young king naturally opened the treasury with a 
view to know what it contained and, side by side vrith 
silver, gold and precious stones, he came across massive 
lumps of something resembling gold but not gold. These 
piqued his curiosity and sending for the mantri said : — 

‘ O mantri, mantri, will you kindly tell me what 
these lumps are ? ’ 

‘ I do not know, yoUr Majesty ’ replied the mantri, 
‘ but there is an old man here who Inight fell you what they 

The old man (his age was 100 years) was summoned 
and he came in a palanquin sent for the purpose. To him 
the king put the question : — 

‘ O old man, do you knoW anything about this lump ? ’ 
showing him one of the lumps. 

‘ I do not know myself,' replied the old man, ‘ but my 
father might tell.’ 

The old man’s father (his age was 200 years) was 
summoned and he came riding on a horse that had b^Oh 
sent out for the purpose; and the king asked him showing 
him one of the lumps. 

‘ O old man, do you know anything in the matter ? ’ 

* I do not know,’ replied the second old man, * but 
perhaps my father will explain.’ 

The second old man’s father was summoned and he 
came on foot without making use of the State carriage 
sent for him. In the same manner the king questioned 

lio HEERaMMA ane venkataswami or 

him showing him all the lumps ‘ O old man, do you know 
what these lumps are.’ 

‘ Yes, Sir, I know,’ replied he. ‘ In your great-grand- 
father’s time a heavy famine fell on the land carrying off 
thousands of men. This adversity was followed by an 
extraordinary and very rich harvest, a single grain of 
wheat weighing three quarters of a seer, and this sufficient 
to feed three or four persons, and these lumps are single 
grain apiece of that time. 

‘ I see,’ said the king; but struck by the extreme age 
of the old man, he asked : 

‘ What is your age, Sir ? ’ 

‘ My age is 300 years, Your Majesty.’ 

‘ How did you come to such an old age, keeping 
still splendid health when all other inhabitants of earth 
are locked in the eternal sleep of death.’ 

‘ Because of my having indulged in pleasure once in 
two years ’ replied the old man. 

Turning to the old man’s son, the king put the ques- 

‘ O old man, what is your age ? ’ 

‘ My age is 200 years, Your Majesty.’ 

‘ How did you attain to that age when all the others 
are lying in the grave.’ 

‘ Because of my having indulged in pleasure once a 
year ’ replied the old man. 

Turning now to the second old man’s son, the king 
put the question. 

‘ 0 old man, what is your age ? ’ 

‘ My age is 100 years, Your Majesty ’ replied the old 

‘ iiow did you come to that age ? ’ 

‘ Because iff my having indulged in pleasure once a 
week ’ replied the old man. 



This set the king athinking, but we do not know 
whether he shaped his course so as to prolong his life as 
these old men (whom he dismissed with presents mightily 
pleased) have done, surrounded as he was by pleasures 
and temptations of the court. 


There was once a pretty well off shepherd tending his 
sheep. A certain Mahomedan king on his way to the 
verdant grazing ground one pleasant summer morning 
espying him, held up one of his fingers inasmuch as to 
say that there is only one God. But the shepherd, think- 
ing this to mean that one sheep was required by the man, 
held up two fingers, declaring in his magnanimity that he 
would present not one but two sheep ; but the king infer- 
ring from the sign that there is one God and one Prophet, 
Mahomed, sent for the shepherd through the Vazeer and 
gave him a liberal largesse. 

Such is the world : one understanding one thing and 
the other another thing ; and there are always two inter- 
pretations of one thing — one a good and the other a bad 


There used to meet at a tavern every evening two indivi- 
duals of the names of Ellayi and Mullayi. Under the 
influence of wine Ellayi would say : ‘I shall build a 
house and take contracts,’ and Mullayi would say ‘ I shall 
open a shop and amass money ’ and so forth. But hardly 
had the day dawned than they would go to their respective 
callings, forgetting everything they had talked about over 
their glasses. When they met again the next evening and 


intoxicated themselves they would carry on their conver- 
sation in the same tenor. 

‘ Oon ’ (3l) says the listener. 

What oon (3?) ? Neither the one ever built a house 
nor the other ever opened a shop or did anything of the 
kind they boasted to do. 

The moral of this story is : People say : ‘ We promise 
to do this thing and that ’ but like Ellayi and Mullayi they 
do not do anything. They follow some calling ; humble 
or otherwise and pass away just as they had come leaving 
no trace whatever behind them. 


Once a dervish went to a king and said : ‘ O king, 
what would you give if you were dying from extreme 
thirst in a waste sandy desert where oases real and unreal 
are few and far between, any one offered you a glass of 

‘ Half of my kingdon^, to be sure ’ replied the king. 

‘ Well, then, what would you give if when you are 
obstructed from passing eurine any one by virtue of his 
drugs makes you to ease yourself even. by one drop ’ 
asked the dervish again. 

‘ Half of my kingdom ’ said the king, 

‘ So, if your kingdom,’ concluded the dervish, ‘ is worth 
only a cup of water to allay your thirst and a bit .of drug 
making you to relieve yourself, then that kingdom is quite 
worthless. Come away and turn a dervish and give your 
nights and days to your Creator who is more than yqur 
kingdom and you and yours on this sinful earth.’ 

Need it be said that the thoughtful king renounced 
his kingdom and became a dervish, a dervish of the true 

Folktales from india 



In a certain country there was a king who was never 
known to suffer from ailments or send for a physician. 
This fact had reached the adjoining countries and a 
barber, well versed in all the tricks belonging to his race, 
said within himself ; ‘01 shall make the king unwell 

and afterwards make him better and reap a harvest of 
reward.’ He said this nor did he stop here, but went to 
the king’s metropolis in due time and cried : ‘ Lo ! here a 
barber come from a distant country. Never was a barber 
who could shave so smoothly and painlessly and beauti- 
fully well.’ This excited the king’s surprise and he 
called the man to shave him, but greater was his wonder- 
ment when he found that the barber dilly-dallied, shaving 
here and shampooing there, paring finger-nails at one 
moment, paring toe-nails at another moment and (rimming 
moustaches at the third. But when the breakfast hour 
came, the king took some pounded nulgoo, put it in his 
mouth and drank a little water ; and this was not 
calculated upon by the barber. For it was by the 
breach of regularity in meals, that he strongly thought 
of making the king unwell. Foiled and frustrated 
in his attempts however, he came home blaming his 

The lesson is that if we are regular and "unctual 
and abstemious in regard to food we shall never 
become ill. 


There was a crow. She had four young ones. Every 
day she was accustomed to go out to gather insects and, 


standing before the nest, would say calling the names of 
the young birds : 

‘ O Dwiya Gambeera, do open the door. 

O Lachanna Raghurama, do open the door. 

O Pekkev Sundari, do open the door. 

O Pairay Ramannah, do open the door.’ 

On this the birdies would open the door and receive 
their mother who would then minister to their wants, 
young and half-fledged as they were. This had continued 
for some time and things went on well. 

Now one day, another bird, a strong adversary of the 
crow, went in the absence of the mother-bird to the nest 
and in a feigned voice said : — 

‘ O Dwiya Gambeera, do open the door. 

O Lachanna Raghurama, do open the door. 

O Pekkev Sundari, do open the door. 

O Pairay Ramannah, do open the door.’ 

The birdies hearing the voice and inferring that their 
mother had come, opened the door ; and at once they were 
pounced upon and eaten. Soon after the mother-bird 
returned and knocked at the door, but to no purpose ; 
the evidence that her offspring fell a prey was before 
her eyes in the tiny feathers strewn here and there on the 
ground. Her grief was inconsolable ; so that she went 
straight to an adjoining well and there branded herself 
on the right of the neck exclaiming ‘ Dwiya Gambeera, 
branded on the left, exclaiming Lachanna Raghurama ; 
again branding herself on the right exclaimed Pekkev 
Sundari, branding on the left exclaimed Pairay Ram- 
annah. This done she threw herself into the well and 
wns no more, 




A CERTAIN well-to-do man knowing that his end had 
drawn nigh sent for his son and said : ‘ My son, I shall 

now leave you for the bourne from which I came ; but, 
before doing so, I want to lay two injunctions on you. The 
one is, that you will not under any circumstances plant a 
ber tree in front of the house ; the other is that you will 
not cultivate friendship with a police man.’ So saying, the 
man died and funeral ceremonies were performed over 
him by the son. 

Believing in the wisdom and vast worldly experience 
of his father, the son laid his father’s advice to his heart 
and observed it scrupulously for a time ; but as time further 
sped, the young man became sceptical and set aside the 
last words of his parent and planted a Ber tree and 
cultivated the friendship of a police man. 

About this time a robbery took place in the town and 
suspicion, strange to say, fell on the young man; and the 
person deputed to trace the crime was the very police 
man, the friend of the young man, who abruptedly entered 
the suspected house, examined it in and out and found 
nothing. Still he had the young man dragged along to 
the tribunal without evincing even the least friendly 
feelings for him, friend though he was ; and while he was 
being so dragged along, his turban came in contact with 
the thorny branches of the Ber tree and came down to the 
ground to his great shame before an assembled crowd. 

In due course the case was called and, despite the con- 
coctions of the police official to bring home the charge to 
the young man, the young man was acquitted. All the same 
his reputation was gone, his father’s injunctions passing 
through the crucible and showing their truthfulness. 

U6 HeeramMa and venkataswAmi or 

Henceforward the young man had nothing to do with 
police functionaries and, as regards the thistle tree, it was 
chopped down and used as firewood. 


‘ Kathalunni yatha layai 
Kapuram rendoo ayai 
Ninna sachhina koondhailoo 
Naitiki koora ayai.’ 

‘What is it ? Tell me,’ said a narrator repeating the 
above lines when asked to tell a tale. Inability being 
expressed to solve the riddle, the narrator explained : — 
There was a man and wife. The woman was unchaste 
or inconstant and was carrying on. When she was with 
her paramour one night, the lawful husband unexpectedly 
knocked at the door, and quick as thought, the woman got 
up and hid the former and, receiving the latter, ministered 
to his wants and went to sleep by his side as if nothing 
had happened. This was not so coolly taken by her 
lover ; so coming up from the hiding place he killed her 
lawful husband on the spot. 

This dead man, he took to the place of execution with- 
out making the least stir and, casting a noose round his 
neck, left him dangling from the gallows as if he had 
hanged himself ; and taking the deceased man’s wife he 
lived with her as her married husband, the woman, of 
course, was privy to all this mischieL 

Now to this hanging-place, some time after, came the 
woman to collect fuel or gather firewcod, but what was her 
suxpiise to find a hare killed underneath the corpse of her 
real husband which had got loose from the dangling posi- 
tion and coming down, as it did, evidently crushed the 


11 ^ 

hare attracted to the spot to browse on the green grass 
growing there in profusion. Suppressing her surprise^ 
she took home the hare with all possible haste so as 
to avoid suspicion and made curry of ; and when her 
newly-made husband and herself had partaken of it she 
repeated the words : — 

‘ Kathalunni yatha layai 
Kapuram rendoo ayai 
Xinna sachhina koondhailoo 
Naitiki koora ayai 
Kundhailuni champinavadu sachhi 
Naitiki aru nailaloo ayai ’ 

in exemplification of her own case. 

‘ Do you now understand the riddle ? ’ asked the 
narrator of the listener. Now go for the present. 


Stories all have beqome sorrowful matters. 
Two had been (my) married lives. 

The hare that died yesterday 
Has this day become (our) curry. 

The man who killed the hare 
Died six months ago. 


On the sands of a river-bank a man reared up water 
melons. At nights, nay in open daylight, packs of 
jackals used to make depredations and. destroy the fruits 
wholesale. Becoming quite disgusted, the poor man did 
not know what to do for a. time but at last resolved to 
send his daughter of tender years to watch in the daytime 

li« Heeramma And venkataswami or 

at least. The cunning jackals, on the first day however, 
inveigled the little girl by saying that they would search 
for lice on her head ; and when some were pretending to do 
this, others were digging a hole saying that that was to put 
the lice in; and in this very hole they buried the girl and 
went their way, of course, after making depredations. 

In due time the father (or melon-planter) came and 
missing the girl shouted : 

‘ O daughter, where are you? ’ 

‘ Underneath your feet ’ was the reply. 

Looking in all directions about him and not finding 
his daughter, the man again shouted : — 

‘ O daughter, where are you? ’ 

‘ Underneath your feet ’ again came the reply. 

Whereupon he scraped underneath his feet and found 
his daughter alive. 

Reclaimed and recovered in this miraculous manner, 
the girl again regularly kept watch and the jackals were 
greatly checked in their depredations, but at the same 
time were thinking of ways and means to be at liberty as 

The melon-planter also on his part was not idle : he 
was maturing plans to torture the jackals or destroy them 
altogether. Soon one occasion he muffled himself up in a 
blanket and sat under a lonely bush without making 
the least stir. The jackals, took him for a beehive and 
one of them put his tail into the hive. The melon-planter 
took hold of it and pulled it off. In like manner all the 
jackals put in their tails and to their chagrin and shame 
lost them. 

Feeling the loss of their tails keenly, the jackals made 
their way to the Pillaiyar SwamVs temple and prayed : 

‘ O God, if you be so gracious as to cause the death 
of the melon-planter, we will kill a sheep and offer it to 


you as a sacrifice.’ This prayer was continued for some 
days and the melon-planter observed the jackals go to 
the temple daily and was curious to know what they went 
for. So one day he went to the temple secretly, remained 
hidden behind the Vigraha, and watched, when the jackals 
came and, to his surprise, ejaculated’,: ‘ O God, if you 
would be so gracious as to cause the death of the melon- 
planter, we shall kill a fat sheep and offer it to you as a 
sacrifice.’ The melon-planter, without being excited, 
answered: ‘ Your prayer is heard and granted.’ Where- 
upon the jackals went away rejoicing, and when actually 
the melon-planter had not made his appearance in the 
field, they considered him dead and killed a fat sheep and 
offered naiwaidhya and laid platters for themselves. 
All of a sudden they thought themselves unclean and at 
once ran to the river bank to bathe. 

Now at this juncture the melon-planter came and re- 
moved the greater portion of the food which the platters in 
a row contained ; and putting dirt in every one of the platter, 
and covering it with small quantity of food, remained 
behind the Vigraha- Meanwhile, the jackals returned 
after their ablutions and one of them went to the platter 
and smelling dirt, remarked : ‘ I smell dirt, I smell dirt,’ 

when all the jackals said: ‘ Hush! don’t say that, don’t 
say that. Eat, eat.’ Another went to his platter and in 
the same way said: ‘O, I smell dirt, I smell dirt,’ when 
again in one voice all the jackals exclaimed: ‘ Hush! O 
don’t say that, don’t say that. Irreverence. Eat, eat.’ 
On this all the jackals without raising any complaint 
began doing justice to the dirty" meal before them, when, 
from the back of the Vigraha, came the melon-planter 
with a stout cudgel and mercilessly belaboured the jackals. 
They escaped, however, with their lives through the door 
l^ft ajar, 


Though escaped, their desire for revenge became the 
greater ; and their depredations were so bad that the poor 
melon-planter was at a loss as how to get rid of the pest for 
a long time. But at last he hit upon a plan. He spread 
a net on the precise melon-growing spot and the jackals on 
their first visit were caught in its folds. The melon-planter 
now took them to the sea and drowned them one by one and 
hus rid himself of the pest. Ever since he has flourished. 


In a certain country there was a king. He had seven 
sons. One day they expressed a wish to go on an 
hunting excursion and the royal father gave his consent 
saying : ‘ My dear sons, I would advise you to go to 
three directions but at the same time exhort you not to 
familiarize yourself with the fourth direction even to the 
extent of one square angula of ground. It is so 
surcharged with perils.’ The young men at the time 
promised to follow the advice and after preparation set 
out — where do you think ? — for the very direction which 
had been forbidden. Their confabulation came to this 
only ; for youth is such. It minds not perils nor sets 
value on parental counsel. 

It was not long before they came across a deer in the 
forbidden country, and to it they gave chase with 
unparalleled ardour all the day long but could not brought 
to bay ; and the night began to throw its mantle of dark- 
ness on the landscape around and still the sportsmen, who 
had not tasted of such sweet pleasure before, pursued the 
animal and when they saw it enter a river they also entered 
it on their chargers unmindful of the waters, yvhen in 
place of the illusive deer lo and behold seven Kanyakaloo ! 



Their beauty was such that even the heavenly apsaras 
bowed their heads in inferiority and Brahma expressed his 
inability to create so fair forms emitting the sweetest of 
perfumes from their braided soft jet-black hair covered 
tastefully in circlets with the immaculate mullai pushpa- 
mulu typical of their inward virgin chastity. 

These princes the sweet imps took to their palatial 
mansions abounding in luxuries and saw to their com- 
forts besides delighting them in every conceivable way. 
Young and susceptible to influences of love and finding 
all that was good in their charming hostesses, the princes 
married them a la Gandharva. 

Surrounded by every pleasure and comfort the princes 
stayed with their wives for a considerable time. During 
the period the youngest prince ever and anon observed 
his wife weeping irrepressively on every occasion, such as 
the bringing in of meals, offering water to wash hands 
and feet, but did not understand nor did he ask his wife 
the reason of it. Simultaneously, one day the princes all 
asked permission of their wives to see their brother’s 
faces which, they said, they had not seen since the marriage 
immersed as they were in pleasure and happiness, and 
when this was accorded the youngest brother naturally 
spoke : 

‘ O brothers, your sister-in-law now and then weeps 
bitterly. Do my sisters-in-law also weep as she does ? ’ 

‘ No, no,’ replied the brothers, ‘ they do not weep. It 
is very strange. Her sisters might be upbraiding her for 
some cause or other. Or there might be other reasons* 
Do enquire and let us know whether good or bad.’ 

Accordingly the prince when he found his wife again 
weeping asked: — 

‘ O dear wife, my short-statured wife, why do you 
weep ? What are you afraid of ? Do tell me, your 


husband as I am and sworn to be such before the goddess 
in the temple, and you will have no cause to rue it.’ 

‘ O my dear lord, ’ replied the wife, ‘ I am not anxious 
for myself — a woman who might as well have been born a 
tree in the forest — but for yourself and your brothers. 
Spell-bound as I am by your love, I am veritably your 
slave. For the true love I bear you, I do not wish that 
harm to the extent of a mustard seed chould befall my 
husband or my brothers-in-law. My reputed father, the 
rakskasha, went on a foraging expedition two months 
ago and he is expected to return this month. When he 
comes he will make a meal of you and your brothers. 
So I am sorry and weep. But you will escape from the 
imminent peril if you follow my advice. The advice is 
that you should take half-an-hour’s leave some day, 
let this day be the latest, gradually increasing day by 
day upto twelve hours and then on the twenty-fourth day 
you will reach a river. When you cross this river you 
will be safe.’ 

When the brothers next met, the youngest explained 
to them the cause of his wife’s weeping and they said: 

‘ Assuredly ! Yes ! your wife is tender-hearted ; she 
must have been born in Devatagana and so advised you 
for you and your brothers’ escape from the rakskasha. 
The suggestion is good. It may be the only one- Let 
us begin taking half-an-hour’s holiday to-day.’ What they 
resolved they did and on the twenty-fourth day, when 
they got a twelve hours holiday, they rode and rode, their 
horses and themselves perspiring freely till they reached 
the river and this, all the brothers crossed except the last. 
When he was in the act of crossing, with great hurry 
and flurry came the Kanyakaloo and took hold of the 
prince’s horse’s tail and would not leave him so • that he 
did not know how to extricate himself- Then came the 


To face p. 12S 

folktales from INDIA 


modest and tender voice of his wife — an unwilling worker 
in the rakshasha's interests — Hulloa ! cut off the tail and 
cross the river. 

No sooner said than done and the prince landed 
safely on the other bank and joined his brothers ; but 
the poor princess for all the true love she bore towards her 
husband fell a victim to the ire of her rakshasha sisters : 
they turned her to ashes. In the meantime the rakshasha 
returned, and when the matter was related to him he, 
smacking his lips, said : 

‘ O children dear, why did you turn her to ashes ? 
I would have made a meal of her. She was not my 
daughter as you are. She had only come from a king’s 
nursery. So she naturally showed her racial qualities 
in not assisting rakshashas, but preserving her own 
species from coming to grief even at the cost of her 

Now to the princes, they returned to the capital 
safe it was true, but when their royal sire came to know 
that his advice had been despised and the forbidden 
direction taken, his wrath knew no bounds and it was 
some time before it cooled down. Again, the princes 
started on an hunting expedition and unwittingly found 
themselves on the confines of their previous perilous 
hunting ground. Suddenly came the soul of the burnt 
princess whispering to her husband slowly in the howl- 
ing wind ‘ Go hence or evil will befall you and your 
brothers, dear.’ The prince accordingly with his 
brothers left the forbidden ground and followed the chase 
elsewhere; and when he returned to the metropolis he 
erected a cenotaph to keep green the memory of his wife 
who saved him and his brothers from destruction at the 
cost of her life, her spirit the second time saving them from 
a similar fate. The inscription on the tombstone bore— > 






Once upon a time a man was bitten by a snake which 
India possesses in great numbers and varieties and of 
venomous type or otherwise ; and the fright he got was 
such, that he began to foam at the mouth and gave 
himself up for lost. Opportunely, a medicine man came 
and, knowing that the snake was not of a poisonous kind 
but a mere Neeroo Kuttay or Neella pamoo, administered 
to him drugs perhaps more to cure his fright than any- 
thing else ; and brought him round so that he became as 
if nothing happened to him. 

Now some time after, the man who was ‘touched’ 
(i.e. bitten) by the snake ascended a tree and a friend of 
his from below jokingly said, ‘Look up! Overhead look! 
there is a snake of monstrous size and highly venomous.’ 

She was not painted nor photographed in her 'life time, 



Taking this to be true and imagining that the reptile 
had come down and bitten him, he foamed at the mouth, 
turned green like a leaf, and breathed his last. Such 
is fright ! 


Once upon a time a man went into a forest with an axe 
and, seeing a khadira tree, gave it an initial blow with a 
view eventually to bring it down. 

Then said the tree : 

‘ O ! Why do you strike me ? ’ 

‘ A bit of you is in me. What can I do ? ’ replied 
the axe. 


Once upon a time a Piglipitta saw a Navlipitta and, 
envying it greatly, said : — 

‘ What 1 Could I not be a peacock ? ’ 

So saying it puffed itself out and strutting about in 
pride, called forth all the energies of which it was 
capable and began uttering cries such as that sacred 
bird is accustomed to make ; and the result was that the 
haughty bird burst itself and died. 


Once a Gollavadu went to hear the Ramayanam read. 
Resting his chin on his staff he was listening intently 
when a mischievous man came and sat down on his 
back ; and strange enough the Gollavadu bore the burden 
evidently without complaint all the time the epic or 
rather a portion of it was being read and explained. 

i 26 heeramma and venkataswami or 

Morning came and some of his neighbours asked 
him : ‘ Did you hear the Ramayanam ? ’ ‘ Yes, ’ said 

the Gollavadw, ‘ but it is no ordinary affair. It is about 
as heavy as a bullock-load. ’ {Ramayanam sama- 
yanam yeddhu baruwu motha). 

‘ How, ’ said they, and the simpleton explained how 
something heavy sat on his back while the Ramayanam 
was going on. Hearing this they all laughed and 
remarked : ‘ Verily, verily, the Gollavandlu are great 


Once upon a time a weaver leaving his own village 
came to another village. 

Now in this village there were no weavers, so the 
people took a great liking for him and encouraged him 
in every way. This encouragement the fellow did not 
deserve. Foi, telling the people that he was to make 
pooja to Pilli-umma before setting up his spindle shanks 
for weaving, the weaver borrowed jhoomkaloo from one, 
todaloo from another, a gold ornament from a third and 
a silver ornament from the fourth. Taking all these he 
walked off no one knew where, and the poor simple 
villagers who were completely duped did not understand 
the weaver’s saying with double meaning attached. 

* Sookkurawarum ikkararum. 

Saniwarum paniwarum. 

Adiwarum poyaiwarum. 

Somawarum vachhi choochookondi. 

• Friday — staying day of mine here with ornaments, of course. 

Saturday — working day in connection 'with poojah or packing up. 

Sunday — departure day (of mine with ornaments, of course). 

Monday — on which day you can come and see for yourself the setting up 
)f spindle shanks and all, or weaving going on, otherwise meaning you shall 
see nothing for my back shall have turned upon your village. 




A KING had a barber whom he would ask occasionally : 

‘ How wags the world ? How are my subjects ? And 
what about grain ? ’ 

The barber, who possessed and closely guarded always 
a bit of gold as large as an hen’s egg and looked on the 
world from the standpoint of his own prosperous 
circumstances, would reply : 

‘ The world is all right, O king. The subjects are 
happy and contented. Grain is very cheap.’ 

Now one day the barber lost his gold and felt the 
loss keenly. The next time the king was having a shave, 
he naturally asked the barber : ‘ How is the world, O 
barber ? How are my subjects ? And what about 
grain ? ’ 

Upon which the barber feeling the loss of his gold 
exclaimed : ‘ O king, the world is in sore straits ; the 
people are dying of starvation, the prices of grain have 
gone very high.’ 

[Persons in comfortable circumstances never consider 
the distresses of the poor until they themselves fall into 


A MAN had two wives. One wife used to shampoo one 
leg and the other, the other. 

Once the first wife went to her mother’s house. The 
husband returned home in the evening from his work, 
and feeling fatigued and his legs aching, asked his other 
wife to shampoo them. 

‘ Why should I shampoo both legs ? ’• said she, ‘ I 
shall shampoo the one that is apportioned to me.’ 


On this the Husband took her to task and she in 
wrath threw a curry-stuff pounder (of stone) on the leg 
not apportioned to her and broke it. 

In course of time the other wife returned and, finding 
the leg apportioned to her for shampooing broken, took 
a curry stuff pounder and broke the other one. 

Thus the man lost both his legs. 

The moral is : Do not marry two wives. 


Once the Goddess of Cholera {Ammavaru in the original) 
was making great havoc in a city, cutting down old and 
young without distinction. Bewildered and hard pressed, 
the people knew not what to do in order to induce the 
Goddess to go away, for they were forbidden by the king 
to offer any living sacrifice. 

Divine as she was, the Goddess knew that the hearts 
of the people were well affected towards her, so, burning 
with rage, she appeared in her own terrible form to the 
king by night in a dream and made this demand, 
‘ Give me a human sacrifice and accept a boon, or I 
shall make a dead man of you.’ 

Awakening in the dead of night in great fear, the 
king ran hither and thither searching for a man 
whom he might sacrifice ; but did not come upon any 
save the family priest locked in the sweet embraces of 
sleep. Him, without the least scruple for his sacred 
character, he wanted to sacrifice. So arousing him he 
said : ‘ What do you say ? I want to give you at once 
as an offering to the Goddess.’ 

In his amazement the priest was unable for a few 
minutes to make reply, but at length collecting his 
thoughts he said, ‘ Yes, you may ; but what have I done 



to deserve this treatment at your hands, which were ever 
strangers to sacrifice even of the lower animals, not to 
speak of* higher beings. To tell you the truth, I am not 
afraid to die but I have a wife and children to whom 
I must bid a tender farewell. So for this purpose will it 
please Your Majesty to allow me a respite ? I shall 
appear before you to be sacrificed at this hour to-morrow 

‘ So be it,’ said the king, and with much reluctance 
entered his bed chamber. 

Now the priest, burning with rage, ran to the God- 
dess’ temple and said in vehement terms — 

‘ Oh Goddess, you are certainly kind. For wor- 
shipping you with zeal and piety all these years of my 
life you now demand me as a sacrifice. A fine Goddess 
and a fine reward indeed ! Was a priest ever treated in 
this manner before ? ’ 

‘ It cannot be helped,’ replied the Goddess. ‘ What is 
fated must come to pass. We cannot avert destiny.’ 

Resigning himself calmly to his cruel fate, the priest 
went home, passed the time of respite with his wife 
and children with seeming cheerfulness. When the 
midnight hour approached he aroused them gently from 
sleep and told them of his doom and, speaking a 
few touching parting words, ran to the king, true to his 

The king immediately sacrificed him. The Goddess 
was mightily pleased and asked the king to name the 

‘ I ask no other boon at your hands,’ said the king, 
‘ but that of bringing to life the poor priest sacrificed ’. 

Biting her lips the Goddess granted the boon, but 
exacted.a promise that he would not stand in the way of 
her devotees in his kingdom offering mere animal 


sacrifices to her. And that is why nowadays aniniai, 
not human, sacrifices are offered to the Goddess of 
Cholera when she attacks a city. 


There was once a poor old .woman. She had a lazy 
son whom she maintained by cutting and selling wood. 
One day the boy said : ‘ Mother, mother, I will go to 
the forest and bring fuel. Will you have an axe made 
for me.’ 

Complying with her son’s request, the woman readily 
got an axe made for him and from that day the boy would, 
in right earnest, go to the forest, hatchet and string in 
hand, and bring back fuel. This he would sell on 
entering the village, give half of the proceeds to his 
mother, reserving the other half to himself. 

With the other half he would purchase levdees, and, 
having taken his seat on a ruined fountain, call the 
village urchins and say : ‘ Call me king So-and-so and 
I shall give you a rupee each.’ Good-humouredly they 
would call him a king and he, as promised, would give 
them one of the rupee-shaped sweets (levdees) apiece. 
This went on for some time. 

Once when he was on his way to cut and bring fire- 
wood, he saw a bag of coins on the wayside, and was 
wondering whether to take it or leave it where it was, 
when a merchant came along, to whom he at once said ^ 
‘ Take that bag of coins lying there.’ 

‘ I do not want it: it is not mine.’ 

Then you can present it to the king with the message 
that Harishchandra Raju (for so he called himself) 
sends it to him. 



The merchant did as advised. The king was 
extremely pleased and sent twelve luddoos as a return 
present to the young wood-seller. Evincing no desire 
to have the sweetmeats he asked the merchant : ‘ Where 
are you going now — to your own country or some 
other ? ’ 

‘ I am going to such and such a country,’ replied he. 

‘ Then will you take these luddoos to the king of that 
country with my greetings ? ’ 

The merchant agreed this time also and gave the 
luddoos which were filled with precious gems, such as 
Heeras, Lais, etc. to the king and received from him for 
the wood-seller, as return present, some very fine black 

Poor wood-seller, what would he do with such a pre- 
sent ? Where would he find the wherewithal to feed the 
animals ? So he again asked his kind merchant : 
‘ Where are you going this time ? ’ 

‘ I am going to the country qf a certain queen.’ 

Will you kindly take the present to the queen with the 
best regards of Harishchandra Raju ? 

‘ Yes, ’ said the merchant, and he fulfilled his promise 
as he had done on the previous occasions. 

The queen on receiving the present was extremely 
pleased. For, at a game of chess with a neighbouring 
queen where the wager laid was horses, she had lost the 
game and, for a long time, was in perplexity as to how 
to settle the debt, when most opportunely the present came. 
Furthermore, the queen, instead of sending a return 
present, was burning to see Harishchandra Raju and 
expressed her desire. But he would not comply with her 
request ; only when the point was again pressed later on 
^ consented to receive her on a certain day. 

Revolving in his mind how to receive so august a 


personage as a queen he made for a well, when half 
returned from the forest, to put down on its brink his 
faggots of wood and rest for a while. But what was his 
surprise on coming to the well to find there several beauti- 
ful suits of female attire ! Taking these he hid himself. 

Now these dresses belonged to the seven fairies who 
were bathing in the well. Their bath over, they came 
out and their consternation can better be imagined than 
described at the sudden and mysterious disappearance of 
their clothes. 

‘ Sister dear, I have lost my sari,’ said one. 

‘ So have I,’ said another. 

‘ Sister dear, I have lost my chaddar, ’ said the third. 

‘ I also : my choli is missing,’ said the fourth. 

Thus were they talking amongst themselves when 
they espied a man behind a tree peeping at them. They 
at once beckoned to him and asked him to return the 
clothes, for which favour, they said, they would help 
him whenever he stood in need of aid whether, human or 
superhuman. As a guarantee of good faith the fairies 
gave him one hair, each, instructing him on this wise : 

‘ Whenever you want our presence for anything, •you have 
only to throw a little bdellium over fire and put the hair 
in the smoke and at that moment we shall be, wherever 
you are, ready, irrespective of distance or time, to do 
your bidding.’ 

Thus assured he gave back the fairies their clothes 
and wended his way homewards with his faggot of 
wood ; and hardly had he reached his home when he 
was informed of the coming of the queen. Instantly he 
summoned his fairies and asked them to call into exist- 
ence a superb palace with luxuriant furniture, rich 
viands, nectarlike drinks and countless other, things 
besides, with debonair damsels to wait upon the royal 



guest. This was done in a trice and the queen mean- 
time arriving was greatly pleased with all she saw in the 
romantic abode of Harishchandra Raju he himself not 
present though she was naturally curious to see the 
personage who so hospitably entertained her and had 
made a present of some of the finest black steeds that 
were ever bred in any stud. But the desire could not be 
gratified, our hero sending word that he would return 
the visit three days hence. 

In truth, our hero, with the aid of his fairy friends 
who again supplied him with all his wants from wearing 
apparel of the first kind to a retinue of magnificence, re- 
turned the visit in grand state and the queen was in rap- 
tures of delight. Young and unmarried as she was (besides 
a queen in her own right) she fell in love with him and 
married him amidst great rejoicings and splendour. 
The pyrotechnic display called the Lanka was greatly 
admired by the populace and lingered in the minds of the 
mirth-loving young children for many a day. It com- 
prised crackers exceeding the noise of cannon and guns, 
Catherine wheels, rockets going up into the air with mathe- 
matical precision, Tarajole or Taramandal ascending 
with meteoric speed and shooting out tiny stars of many 
colours, Sursurbuttees, little balloons sent one after 
another in numbers to the cloudland, not to speak of 
mahtabs — green, red and white lights, Chhichboodloo 
(flower-pots), Nagmodis or Pharoah’s serpents, Roman 
candles and quibs. 

Need it be said that ever since that memorable occa- 
sion our Harishchandra Raju bade adieu to poverty, for 
his rescue from which, he was ever grateful to his fairy 
friends ; and in company with his wife the queen 
enjoyed, the sweets of life. The old mother also was not 
forgotten £tmidst his prosperity. 



Once upon a tinae there was a king. For a long time 
he had no issue and therefore was in great anxiety as to 
how to perpetuate his race. Various and hard were the 
austerities he had gone through, and bitter and nasty 
were the medicines he had administered to himself. 
At last the gods favoured him and a son was born. 

Precisely noting the hour of the child’s birth he 
consulted the astrologers and passing strange was what 
they revealed to him. They said that the infant which 
had just come into existence would, on attaining man- 
hood and marriageable age, fall a victim to a tiger- 

As time sped the love of the father for his son 
increased because of his gentle disposition and good 
behaviour as a student. Side by side with his love, 
piercing grief found a lodgment in the father’s breast 
because of what the astrologers said from the Panchang ; 
but brooding over it he had a palace of glass erected, 
rendered safe from tigers, where, amidst numerous 
sentinels and bodyguards, he kept his son and hoped for 
the best. 

Seeing the prince attain to man’s estate the queen 
asked her royal husband to arrange for their son’s marri- 
age. The king arranged it and celebrated it on an auspici- 
ous day with great rej.qicings amidst a great concourse of 
people from kings and princelings to courtiers and 
peasants. In the midst of the celebration there suddenly 
appeared a tiger who carried off the bridegroom in his 
saffron robes. And great was the grief of the parents, 
great the surprise of the crowd. 

the morrow enquiry was made as to how the tiger 
had come since the jungle haunted by tigers was so many 



miles off, the country had enjoyed an immunity from 
the ravages of tigers from time immemorial, and the 
palace was made tigerproof so to speak. The only 
answer forthcoming was that the tiger drawn on one of 
the walls of the palace became a veritably living one 
and with a spring carried off the prince in the midst 
of marriage and from the very side of the bride. Thus 
was fulfilled the prediction of the astrologers. 


There was once a very rich man of the name of Hazari 
Lai in the country of Baidars. He had an only daughter 
who, through being excessively petted by her parents and 
brought up in the lap of luxury, became very over- 
bearing and imperious. Though of marriageable age 
her proud resolve was, that she should marry that men 
only who would receive five smacks with a shoe every day 
at her hands. Need it be said that because of this 
resolution of hers none deigned, essayed or condescended 
to ask the hand of the proud and rich girl for a long 
time. At last, however, a dauntless young man of 
humble circumstances appeared as a suitor on the scene, 
willing to become her husband on the condition required, 
and was accepted. 

The morning after the celebration of the marriage 
the proud newly wedded wife came and said to her 
husband : ‘ O come, let me have the stipulated opportunity 
of giving you five smacks with my shoe this day.’ 

‘ O yes, you are at perfect liberty to have it, dear,’ 
said the young man, ‘ and I am also ready, but will 
you be pleased to excuse me for this day ? ’ 


‘ Good, I will excuse you this day, but you had 
better not expect this indulgence in future,’ said the 
proud girl. 

‘ So be it,’ replied the husband. 

Glad to escape the degradation of being beaten with 
a shoe by his wife for a day even, the young man made 
his way to the bazaar and purchasing a cat and a dog 
there returned to his father-in-law’s mansion. He 
reached it when the lamps were lit and the cows were 
returning from pasture in the uplands and called out to 
his wife : 

‘ Have you my meals ready ? ’ 

‘ Yes.’ 

‘ Well, bring them.’ 

Hardly had she placed them before him when the cat 

‘ Ah 1 ungrateful wretch that you are. You mean 
to say that I would not give you a morsel of 
food ? ’ 

So saying, he sprang forward and catching hold of 
the creature twisted its neck and threw it away. 

The fright of the young wife had better be imagined 
than described : she perspired from head to foot. 

Some time after, the dog came and put its mouth into 
one of the dishes. Immediately the choleric young man 
drawing his sword from the scabbard cut him in two, 
saying : ‘ Wretch ! You too ungrateful ! I did not dream 
of that. Hitherto I bad a high opinion of your canine 
race. You think that I am so greedy a man as not to 
give you a bone to pick ? ’ 

Seeing these things with her own eyes the proud 
wife was thoroughly frightened and easing herself in 
her garments in consequence never asked for the fulfil- 
ment of the condition. 


And the young man was pleased that his stratagem 
had been so far successful in humbling the girl’s pride 
but was bent upon taming the pride the more. So on one 
occasion he brought his carriage and called his wife to 
come with him saying that he wanted to go to his 
parental home. But she would not. The father too 
came and said, ‘ Go, do not be afraid. Not the slightest 
harm will befall you. You are the daughter of Hazari 
Lai and by virtue of your affluence, not to speak . of your 
ancestry, you have a right to enforce the condition if you 
so will it and need not be afraid of any one.’ 

‘ Let the daughter of Hazari Lai be mingled with the 
dust and let the condition go to perdition ’ replied the 

Persuading the girl however the father made her go 
along with her husband, who took her to his humble 
cottage and put her on bread and water for full fifteen 
days. Having passed through the ordeal the girl, 
wonderful to relate, came out a* woman of meek spirit 
laying aside her haughty behaviour and taking her right- 
ful place as a pativrata. This may sound passing 
strange but are not the daughters of India meek spirits 
and pativratas even without an ordeal ? 


Yairu dhatina varaku Ellaya 
Yairu dhatina taruwatha Pullaya.* 

* Translation. 

Till we cross the river or till our object is accomplish- 
ed, we say Ellaya sir, Ellaya sir, that is we flatter him. 
After we have crossed the river or gained our end, we 
say ‘ Go away, sir,’ that is we make as if we had nothing 
to do with the man whom we had begged for a favour. 



The following story is narrated in exemplification of 
the above saying : — 

There was once a fox who wanted to cross a 
river but could not owing to the river being full. 
Espying a ferryman he at once ran up to him and 
said ; 

* O Ellaya sir, Ellaya sir, will you take me to the 
other side ? ’ 

The man, taking compassion on the creature, ferried 
him across the river, but the fox, instead of thanking 
his benefactor, said only ‘ Go away, sir ’ and of course 
fled as if he had not had anything to do with the master 
of the boat. 


In a certain city there was once a Brahman of the name 
of Venkatabhatloo versed in all the Shastras, Vedas and 
Mimamsas, and who was virtuous and good ; but he had 
one moral shortcoming. Though a married man he was 
in love with a washerwoman. 

To that washerwoman’s house the Brahman would go 
every night at eight o’clock and return home at day- 
break or in the early morning of the next day after 
cleansing himself in the river Ganges. 

Now in the city of Kashi there was another Brahman 
who was holy and of unblemished character who was 
wpnt to take a bath in the holy waters of the Ganges. 
The Brahman would go early in the mornings to the 
river-bank; and concurrently with his arrival, strange 
to say, a Rajuhansa, with the dirtiest coat imaginable, 
would put in his appearance there, and entering the 
element come out spotless and clean. This was observed 
for a considerable time by the holy man who reflected 



and wondered what it meant, 'when one morning the 
Rajahansa, as usual, plunged into the river and 
emerging as a sweet girl of twelve years, spoke to the 
Brahman thus : — 

‘ O holy man, in a certain place, there is a brother 
Brahman. He, I regret to say, contaminates the Ganges. 
He keeps company with a laundress in the nights, and in 
the mornings he dips himself in the river and pollutes 
the element. Do you now understand the meaning of 
the vision ? Would it not be possible for you to reform 
the man, who, to tell you the truth, is reported well in 
other respects ? ’ 

Hearing these words the Brahman set out in search of 
Venkatabhatloo and on the third day at sun-down or so he 
came upon his house. But the Brahman was absent and 
the Brahmani (Venkatabhatloo’s wife), a true pativrata, 
offered the holy Brahman water to wash his hands and 
feet and an asana to sit upon, after which informed 
him that her lord had gone out. Whereupon the 
newly arrived Brahman at once repaired to the holy 

In the morning the two Brahmans met each other on 
the river-bank and after exchanging salutations the 
Brahman from Kashi said : — 

‘ I have undertaken the journey from Kashi merely to 
see you.’ 

‘ You have done me a great favour, ’ replied the bad 
Brahman, ‘ and I will do anything for you that lies in 
my power.’ 

‘ Will you really ? ’ said the Kashi Brahman. 

‘ Yes, ’ replied the other. 

Then take up Ganga-jul in your hand.’ 

He. took some ; when the Kashi Brahman said 

‘ Give* up the company of the washerwoman.’ 


At this startling revelation the Brahman was dumb- 
founded ; and need it be said gave up committing the sin 
hereafter which he swore in the name of sacred Ganga 
that he would not commit again. 


Once a roloo went to a mudhdhaila and said sorrow- 
fully, ‘ O mudhdhaila, mudhdhaila, I am pounded daily 
from dawn of day till sandhya lamps are lit.’ 

Hearing which, the mudhdhaila exclaimed in sur- 
prise, ‘ What, roloo, you complain to me of your being 
pounded ? You are pounded on one side only but I am 
pounded on both sides:’ 

When one man tells his grievances to another, the 
latter, if more aggrieved than the former, narrates the 
story as much as to say that his case is a very sad one 
compared with that of the other. 


God was conferring boons. The Englishman was 
answering call of nature then, but hearing of it made 
himself clean at once with a piece of paper that lay by, 
and running speedily presented himself first. So God 
conferred upon him the boons of greatness, wealth, 
superiority^ etc. 

The Indian also was answering call of nature then, 
but though he heard of the bestowal of boons made him- 
self thoroughly clean with water and went. The result 
was that he was late and lesser benefits in consequence 
were bestowed upon him. 

~Thi» is the reason why the Englishmen are superior 
in power and everything, and the Indians inferior. 





When Englishmen first landed in India they enquired 
who the high caste people were. Certain persons who 
were, it seemed, of high caste pointed at the dwellings of 
the dhers, chamars and mehtars beyond the village limits, 
saying : ‘The people staying yonder there are the high 

Believing this to be true, the Englishmen sought 
hospitality at the hands of those hereditary outcastes, and 
the consequence was that they lost their caste. Other- 
wise the Englishmen would have certainly come to be 
regarded as of high caste by virtue of their descent from 
the same high born forefathers — the Aryans — and pro- 
vided they gave up eating beef. 


There was once a fellow as short as a betel-nut. He 
planted a field as large as a chata and the doves came 
and ate up the crops. For a long time he did not know 
what to do, but at last he hit upon a plan. He struck 
thorns in the field and when the birds next came their 
sensitive bodies came in contact with them ; and ever 
since that day they have not alighted on the field. And 
the resourceful Lilliputian was mightily glad of it. 


This is a nursery tale without, properly speaking, any plot and 
is narrated perhaps to arouse the interest more than amuse the 
young folks or children. It has humour also . — Pokuntha pottiwUdu 
chdtantha saittoo vaisinSdoo. Meaning a man as short as a betel- 
nut, wha planted a field not larger than a winnower (drawing com- 
parison of thb man with reference to his smallness in stature). 



The world was being created and God sent out a dog 
from the heavens ordering him to ascertain how much oi 
the world had been created. The dog went and found 
that half of the world was created ; but, attracted by the 
lust of taste, he did not go back to report the result of 
his errand. 

Then God sent a cock to enquire what had become of 
the dog and to inform Him how much of the world was 
made. The cock came but like the dog did not go back, 
but cried with all his might and main kook'’oo koo, 
kookka radhu ‘ The dog is not coming.’ Then the second 
half of the world w'as completed and the day dawned. 
So you see how the dog and the cock are left with us 
and what is meant by the ‘ cock a doodle do ’ ’ of the 
domestic fowl. 


It is further related that God also sent an elephant 
down to the earth to ascertain what has become of the 
dog and the cock and to come back. It also did not obey 
His commands but exclaiming ‘ What would the span- 
in-length-man do tome?’ the huge beast remained on earth 
without going back, attracted by the worldly pleasures only 
to repent of its conduct. For when it throws mud over its 
head it rues how it disregarded God’s advice and came 
to be badly treated by that very man whom it first 
slighted, because of his small size and dimensions as 
compared with its own, little thinking of his intelligence 
which went to subdue him with humiliation. 

^ The Hindu explanation of the early morning or four o’clock cock- 
crowing is, that God takes a bath at that hour and while so doing let falls a 
drop of water on the bird and wakes him to declare to the world the birth of 
another day. 




Now after the dog and the cock, God sent down a bull 
to declare to mankind that, in the world just created, 
there should be three daily baths and one meal a week 
for human beings ; but the bull, by mistake, reversed the 
order and stated that there should be three daily meals 
and one weekly bath. So you see at the present day 
we take meals thrice and bathe over the head (and this 
bathing termed a oil-bath) once a week, the daily 
automatic washing of the body not to be taken into 


In the court of I-ndra there was once waged an animated 
discussion between the God of Fire, and Varuna, the 
God of Rain, as to who was the greater. 

Vamna contended with great plausibility of reason- 
ing that he was greater. 

‘ No, no, you are not,’ said Agni. 

‘ I am greater.’ 

Seeing the fruitlessness of the discussion the God 
of Rain said: ‘ We will never come to a decision in this 
way. You show your greatness and I will show mine. 
And then it will be manifest who has the superiority.’ 

The God of Fire consented to the proposal and began, 
from the east, burning villages and everything that came 
in his way and Varuna extinguishing them by heavy 
downpour of rain. Agni seeing that the day was being 
lost, invaded as a last resource a black rocky cavern in 
the Meru mountains, but there too the Rain-God wa.s 
upon him and Agni mysteriously disappeared. 

This is the reason why, when we strike a bit of 
black-rock with steel, fire is produced. 



There was a king. He had two wives. The first 
wife had two sons and the second wife, one. The king’s 
sight was failing him and he called his two sons by his 
first wife and said : 

‘My dear sons, my eye-sight is failing me, and it is 
with great difficulty I see. Do get the leaves of a certain 
tree which will restore my sight.’ 

‘ We will get the leaves, father dear,’ said the sons, 
and next day started for the place where the medicinal 
leaves were said to abound. In the course of their journey 
they came to a country where there was a very rich and 
high-class courtesan. With her they played a game of 
packeese'i, hoping to win the beautiful courtesan ; but they 
lost the game and in accordance with the stipulation 
made beforehand, became her servants like the rest of 
the kings and princes who had played and lost. Their 
work was to water the plants in her garden. 

Some time after, the only son of the king’s second 
wife, obtaining unwilling permission from his loving 
mother also started in search of the medicinal leaves 
and in the course of his journey came to the very country 
where his brothers were serving their time in the 
courtesan’s garden as water-carriers. It was dark when 
he arrived and so the prince at once sought shelter with 
the usual hospice -keeper Paidaraisi Peddhamma. After 
taking his meals he asked : — 

‘ What is the news of the place, mother ? ’ 

‘ What news may I give you son? ’ said the old 
woman. ‘ What news shall 1 tell ? There is a courtesan 

’ \ good story. — The Rev. John Leadrum. 



here under whom are several kings and princes, watering 
trees in her garden. They all lost their game of pacheese 
with her and came to be such. However expert a player 
may be, he is sure not to win. For the courtesan has 
a cat, upon the head of which is kept a lamp ; and when 
the woman is losing she gives a sign to the cat who 
forthwith upsets the lamp; and in the confusion the 
courtesan changes the places of the chessmen to her own 
advantage and wins the game. 

Hearing this with breathless attention he made up 
his mind to play a game with the courtesan and, in fact, 
went to her mansion the next night and commenced 
playing. When the play was at its height the prince let 
loose two rats with which he had provided himself 
previously and without anyone’s knowledge; and immedi- 
ately the cat pounced upon and pursued its natural 
enemies upsetting the lamp which it supported and 
creating great confusion. Turning to good account the 
confusion produced by his stratagem the prince changed 
the place of the chessmen to his own advantage and 
easily won the game. 

The courtesan now becoming the servant and slave 
of the prince, the prince set at liberty the kings and 
princes employed as water-carriers in the garden who all 
thanked their deliverer with one voice. Among the 
princes set free were the prince’s two brothers. Telling 
them to wait till he returned he started with all haste in 
quest of the medicinal leaves. 

The way was beset with dangers and hardly had he 
gone one hundred yards than he was confronted by a 
formidable ogress, the terror of the country round. To 
her he gave battle with might and main and proved 
victor in the combat. Extremely pleased with his valour, 
the ogress married her only adopted daughter to the 


prince with great eclat and splendour. And besides 
promising to be at his immediate service whenever he 
stood in need of her help, the ogress gave the prince three 
stone-pebbles accompanying them with the following 
advice : — 

‘ My son, when you approach the trees in quest of 
which, I understand, you have come so far risking your 
life for your father’s sake, throw the stones at them. At 
that moment the serpents, the scorpions, and centipedes 
with which the trees so teem that the leaves can hardly 
be distinguished from the living creatures, will all come 
down. You will then ascend one of the trees, and, 
taking as many leaves as you wish, return.’ With tears 
in his eyes the prince thanked the ogress for the stone- 
pebbles and the advice and immediately started for the 
place where the trees were and, as advised, threw the 
stones at one of them when, wonder cf wonders! the 
whole reptilian order which occupied every accessible 
spot on the trees descended. Immediately the prince 
took as many leaves as he wanted and returned to the 
ogress and taking his wife and receiving the blessings 
of his ogress mother-in-law started homewards. 

On the way, as we know, lay the country of the cour- 
tesan where his brothers were waiting. Taking them and 
the courtesan he proceeded — of course the ogress’ adopted 
daughter being with him — and ere long on the way he 
came across his old long-lost faithful dog, whom he took 
in his laps and tenderly caressed. 

Now evil took possession of the prince’s brothers by 
reason of their younger brother’s success in getting the 
leaves. They thought he would rise in the estimation 
of their royal father in consequence, and so resolved to 
do away with him. Embracing a favourable opportunity 
they killed him and placing the corpse on the ground, 


arranged over it cow-dung cakes in profusion and, setting 
fire to it, started in advance of the others who were left 
far behind. 

On his master’s death the dog, long lost and found, 
who was present when the tragedy took place, shed tears 
and with tears fresh in its eyes, ran to where the ogress’ 
adopted daughter and the courtesan were. They observ- 
ed the tears and, suspecting foul play, followed the dog 
wherever it went. It went to a newly lighted funeral 
pile, and walked round it. Upon this the unfortunate 
women set up a wailing for the dog’s action made it 
clear to them that the prince was killed and under the 
blazing fires. 

After a while the ogress’ adopted daughter, as if a 
thought had suddenly struck her, collected the ashes of 
her husband and, with the admixture of a little water, 
made it into an image and infused life into it. Lo and 
behold! the self-same prince in flesh and blood, back 
from the regions of death, looking intently on his wife 
and the courtesan for an explanation of the circum- 
stances under which he came to lie there. 

Now what of the two treacherous princes ? Having 
killed their brother they started for their father’s king- 
dom and in due course reached it with the medicinal 
leaves which they gave out they had got. The father 
was overjoyed to see them, the more so because of the 
leaves which restored his sight. In consequence they 
rose greatly in his favour so much that it seemed that 
nothing would part them from him. But this was not to be. 

For the revivified prince, by slow marches, reached 
at length his father’s metropolis accompanied by his 
wife and the courtesan and at once went into his mother’s 
apartments where the son and the mother wept upon 
each other'^s necks for a long time. Wiping his eyes the 


prince detailed to his mother the whole story from the 
beginning ; how on the way he won a courtesan in a 
game of pacheese and set at liberty a number of kings 
and princes — amongst the number his two brothers 
employed by the courtesan in her gajden; how he fought 
successfully with an ogress, the scourge of the country 
round ; how the ogress being pleased with his prowess 
gave him her adopted daughter and learning his purpose 
and desire gave him three pebbles ; how with the aid 
of the pebbles he ascended a tree close to which lay 
immense danger and plucked a few leaves for the restora- 
tion of his father’s sight ; how his brothers not only 
envied him but killed him ; how his faithful dog long- 
lost and happily met conveyed this information to his wife 
and the courtesan ; and how the wife called him back 
to life though reduced to ashes. 

The queen heard this and wept and wept and then 
sent for her husband. She told him how her son, though 
not loved by him, had couited dangers for his father’s 
sake and had got the medicinal leaves ; how his other 
sons to whom he did a good turn in liberating them 
from abject slavery in the courtesan’s garden, not only 
deprived him of the leaves but also of his life. On 
hearing this, the king’s anger knew no bounds ; he at 
once sent for those murderous fellows and ordered them 
into exile and, calling his other son, embraced him and 
addressed him thus : ‘ It was you who gave me back my 
sight. Your love towards me was truly filial. In return 
for this love, so spontaneously manifested, I give you my 

True to his word, he abdicated his throne in favour 
of the prince. He is now reigning there surrounded by 
his parents — the loving mother and the father — his life- 
giver, the ogress’ adopted daughter, and the* sympathetic 



courtesa.n and we are narrating his story leaving out no 
elements, tragical or otherwise. 

Yesternight I went to that king and he gave me large 
heartedly a present of a gold ring worth five tolas. Here 
it is. 


A FLY having plastered her house with cow-dung forgot 
her name. Seeing a wood-cutter pass with an axe in 
his hand she addressed him thus : — 

0 wood-cutter, wood-cutter, what is my name ? ’ 

1 do not know your name. Ask the axe which is in 
my hand.’ 

‘ O axe, axe, what is my name ? ’ 

‘ I do not know your name. Ask the tree which 
comes to be felled down by the axe.’ 

‘ O tree, tree, what is my name ? ’ 

‘ I do not know your name. Ask the bird which 
perches on the tree.’ 

‘ O bird, bird, what is my name ? ’ 

‘ I do not know your name. Ask the water which the 
bird drinks.’ 

‘ O water, water, what is my name ? ’ 

‘ I do not know your name. Ask the moss which is 
in the water.’ 

' O moss, moss, what is my name ? ’ 

‘ I do not know your name. Ask the fish which eats 
the moss.’ 

‘ O fish, fish, what is my name ? ’ 

‘ I do not know your name. Ask the fisherman wh^ 
catches the fish.’ 

' O fisherman, fisherman, what is my. name ? ’ 

‘ I do* not know your name* Ask the fishwoman*’ 

15d HeEramMa and venkataswaMi or 

‘ O fishwoman, fishwoman, what is my name ? ’ 

‘ I do not know your name. Ask the cook who buys 
the fish.’ 

‘ O cook, cook, what is my name ? ’ 

‘ I do not know your name. Ask the maid who 
prepares the dishes.’ 

‘ O maid, maid, what is my name ? ’ 

‘ I do not know your name. Ask the master who eats 
the dishes.’ 

‘ O master, master, what is my name ? ’ 

‘ I do not know your name. Ask the mare which 
I ride.’ 

‘ O mare, mare, what is my name ? ’ 

‘ I do not know your name. Ask the foal which is 
in my belly.’ 

‘ O foal, foal, what is my name ? ’ 

‘ Is not your name a fly ? ’ said the foal in the 
mare’s belly. 

In surprise the fly put her finger on her nose and 
went her way. 


Once upon a time there was a Zamindar. He was so 
niggardly in hjs habits that he would eat the coarsest food 
and wear the roughest clothing. Then one day he died 
leaving the immense wealth he had accumulated by such 
economical measures ; and when he breathed his last 
the youngest daughter-in-law laughed lustily. This was 
observed by the other daughters-in-law who made up 
their minds to report the unbecoming conduct to their 
husbands and their youngest brother-in-law whenever 
an opportunity offered. 



It was the custom of the daughters-in-law in the 
mornings to go in company to the river-bank and 
fetch water. One morning while going they saw a 
washerman in the last pangs of death; and when the life 
departed the youngest daughter-in-law wept bitterly. 
This was also observed by the other daughters-in-law 
and in their return they duly reported the matter to their 
husbands and their youngest brother-in-law. 

The brothers and the woman’s husband demanded 
the reason why she laughed lustily when her father-in- 
law died and wept bitterly when the dhobi died thinking 
that she must have disliked the one and loved the other. 

‘ Pray do not ask me the reason,’ said the girl. ‘ I 
have laughed and wept for the best of reasons — not that 
I had any aversion to my father --in-law or had anything 
to do with the dhobi.’ 

Hearing this and suspecting her character from the 
very outset they took the girl to the Tahsildar’s court, 
preferring a complaint of faithlessness- 

The Tahsildar called the girl and ordered to say 
what she has to say. 

‘ O sir, I laughed,’ said the girl, ‘ because when the 
soul of my father-in-law was passing away it spat on 
his face, saying : " Why should I stay in you ? Have 
you eaten the daintiest food or worn the gaudiest cloth- 
ing ? ’” 

I wept because when the dhobi died, his soul 
would not leave him. It hovered about him, hovered 
about the house-eaves and showed a great reluctance to 
leave repeating all the time, ‘ How can I leave you ? 
You have eaten the food that was pleasing to the tongue 
and worn the clothing pleasing to the eyes.’ 

‘ However I believe this, on your own evidence,’ said 
the Tahsildar. 


‘ To prove my truthfulness, I prophesy,’ said the girl, 
‘ What I know about you. ‘ To-night you will take your 
meals, light a cigar, and before going to bed will want 
to chew a piece of areca nut which, while in the act of 
putting into the mouth after driving air thereupon (so 
as to cause dust and little insects that may be sticking 
to it to go off) will come in contact with your forehead 
and you will die.’ 

The next morning, strange to say, the prophecy was 
fulfilled to the very letter and it was noised abroad. The 
girl’s story was believed and she was taken into favour 
without any blame being attached to her character. 


There was once a Brahmin who had a gold image worth 
ten lakhs of rupees. Though very poor he would not 
part with the image nor miss worshipping it with 
flowers and patris even for a single day. 

The image was seen by a goldsmith in well-off 
circumstances who invited the Brahmin to stay in his 
newly constructed house, adding that it was lying vacant. 
The Brahmin consented and stayed. 

Now the goldsmith had an eye on the gold from the 
very outset and his invitation of the Brahmin was actu- 
ated more by the gold than by anything else. He now 
began removing very cunningly thin layers of the 
precious metal. The Brahmin thought the image felt 
light at the time of worship, yet suspecting nothing called 
the goldsmith and said : ‘ O goldsmith, goldsmith, I am 
proving troublesome to you by my stay. Do let me go.’ 

‘ Oh ! no, not in the least,’ replied the goldsmith. ‘ God 
gives you good things. He gives me also.’ The Brahmin 


yielded the point and stayed, and the goldsmith, the mon 
audaciously, began removing more gold. 

On the next time of worship the Brahmin found out 
the shabby trick of the goldsmith and at once moved off 
to his humble dwelling cursing the goldsmith for his 
deceit and want of respect even for God. 



In a certain country there was a king. He had a son Who, 
having completed his studies and attained to manhood, 
spoke thus to his father one day : ‘ Father, I am very 
anxious to go boosanchar in order to give a finishing 
touch to my education. Will you kindly accord to me 
permission to go ? ’ The king accorded permission and 
the prince, taking as much money as he wanted, started 
on his travels. 

In due course he reached a certain country. The 
night was pretty well advanced when he arrived and 
seeing a -pyal — it was the pyal of the king’s palace — he 
slept on it so soundly till next morning that the king, 
when he came out, saw him and. spoke ‘ Who are you ? 
Whence are you come ? Your appearance betrays you 
to be a king’s son or prince.’ 

‘ I am a stranger in the country,’ said the printe 
without acknowledging that he was a king’s son or 
prince. ‘ I have come from a distant country. I am no 
king’s son. My father is only a peasant.’ Notwith- 
standing this reply the king, taking a fancy to the young 
man, employed him as Palkalputti to his son who was 
attending a Patshala. 

Among the duties of Palkalputti, one was that of 
going on small errands. One day the king’s daughter 



gave him a note to be delivered to the minister’s son with 
whom she had fallen in love. It ran as follows : — 

‘ Dear Love, my father does not permit me to go 
to the Patshala any more because of my having advanced 
in years, and so our meetings must come to an end. 
However, be ready with a charger at such and such a 
temple when the gong strikes the midnight hour. I shall 
be there and we will flee.’ 

Instead of delivering the letter, Palkalputti read the 
contents and tore it up. Then running to the minister 
reported falsely, that his son of late had become very 
lazy in his studies. Upon which the father confined him 
in a room, at the same time ordering him with threats to 
go on with the lessons which he had failed to repeat to his 
teacher in school. Palkalputti, in the meantime, made 
himself ready and was present at the temple in the guise 
of the minister’s son. Exactly at the midnight hour 
the princess came bringing sufficient money and jewels 
by the hand of a maid-servant. 

Now began the flight. Palkalputti rode first, the 
princess followed in hot haste without acquainting her- 
self with her lover or exchanging a word, and it was 
only the dawn of day- that disclosed to the princess the 
mistake she had made. She became very sorry but the 
maid who followed her mistress repeatedly said by way 
of consolation : ‘ What is ordained by fate must come 
to pass ’ and at the same time tried to direct the course 
of her mistress’ love towards Palkalputti but the mistress 
would have none of it. 

Still the fugitives rode and rode and in course of 
time reached a dense forest. It was summer. The day 
was burning with heat. The whole of languid nature slept 
save a few restless sweet warblers perched on high trees 
with newly sprouted leaves, giving out theif plaintive 


notes. Our princess was parched with extreme thirst 
and as there was no water near at hand, the maid asked 
PalkalpuUi to fetch some. 

Pnlkalputti started in quest of water and very soon 
came upon a stream, the waters of which were red and 
laved the base of a palace, which resembled a fine scene 
like unto a ‘ tamasha ’ [tamashaga voondainoo Telugu 
idiom] Curious to know the cause of the waters being 
red, he dipped his hand into the stream and to his great 
amazement found two rattans. Taking these he entered 
the palace through a marble corridor and was infinitely 
surprised to see in the hall a most beautiful young woman 
lying at full length in a pool of blood with her head 
severed from the trunk. Recollecting the magic he had 
read in his books, PalkalpuUi waved one of the rattans 
three times and instantly the trunk and body joined 
together and the most beautiful woman on earth, sitting 
up spoke in soft pleasing accents ‘ O ! brave young man 
why did you come ? The rahshasa would eat you up. 
Go away, please. If you rescue me at any time promise 
to marry me.’ 

PalkalpuUi promised and soon waving the other 
rattan three times and by this means seeing the head 
of the fair lady sever itself from the trunk as before he 
returned taking water with him. Their thirst quenched, 
the princess and party started onwards and in course of 
time came to a certain country. 

When they arrived, there was an assemblage of 
people in the king’s palace ; the king being on the 
throne, and a merchant standing in the midst demanding 
a fabulous high price for a fish he had with him. 
Seeing it PalkalpuUi at once said : 

‘ The fish is not worth the price demanded.. It 
is three-folirths scales and one-fourth water.’ 


‘ How do you know ? ’ asked the merchant. 

‘ I know it,’ replied Palkalputti. 

The merchant said unconvincingly that it was not. 
Upon which the king asked the merchant to lay a wager 
of his mansion, lands, and all his property. The wager 
was laid. The fish was weighed and found in weight, 
eJtactly three-fourths scales and one-fourth water and 
Palkalputti in consequence became master of the mer- 
chant’s mansion, lands and property. Into this mansion 
already furnished he brought his princess but still she 
would not like him, much less love him. 

To be liked and loved by her he left to time, and 
in the meantime Palkalputti was, in the discharge of his 
duties, satisfying his master, the king of the country, 
who took him into his service as one of his palace- 

Now, while digging in his mansion-lands, Palkal- 
putti found an emerald. Taking this he went to the 
king and presented it. The king in turn gave it to his 
daughter. The princess put it on her ravikay and on 
the right shoulder and went to her favourite parrot and 
said : ‘ O how do I look, pet ? Am I not pretty ? Do I 
not look beautiful ? ’ 

‘ You look grand,’ replied the parrot. ‘ You are 
pretty. You look beautiful. But you would be prettier 
and look more beautiful, your beauty would be enhanced 
a thousand times, were you to have another gem like 
that and adorning the ravikay on the left shoulder.’ 

Whereupon the princess, became extremely sad, and 
rwnning to her father, implored him to give her another 
emerald like the first. The king was at a loss how to 
comply with her request, but sending for Palkalputti 
ordesed him to get a gem like the one he had presented. 
Palkalputti was non^ussed at this strange request.. He 

folktales from INDIA 

15 ? 

did not know where to get one. The one he gave was a 
chance find. But all of a sudden, he remembered the 
Rakshasa’s daughter lying in a pool of blood in her 
palace adorned in great profusion with emeralds, sap- 
phires, rubies, carnations, cornelians, amethysts, pearls 
and corals and all kinds of valuable gems, stones and 
shells that Nature produces. So he went to that palace 
without losing time and joining the head and trunk 
of the Rakshasa's daughter by the spell of the rattan, 
asked the lovely woman for an emerald. She advised 
him to go to her five sisters close by a certain tank, 
where he would get it. Placing her in her original 
position, he' started and reached the place where the five 
sisters were- They received hini with all cordiality, en- 
quired after their youngest sister, gave him the gem he re- 
quired and moreover married one of their younger sisters, 
fair in form and faultless in symmetry, whom they turned 
into a paddy-sheaf and sent him back with greetings. 

Soon after Palkalputti reached the metropolis and 
gave the king the gem. The king was greatly pleased 
with the young man and declared that he should be 
called Ratnalpolchetty from that day. 

The emerald he gave to his daughter. Pleased 
with it and adorning her person with it the princess ran 
to the parrot and said : ‘ How do I look ? Am I not 
pretty now ? Do I not look beautiful ? ’ 

‘ Yes, you do,’ replied the parrot, ‘ You are a vision 
of beauty. You are: a paragon of loveliness but you 
have no Parifataka flower.’ 

Hearing this, the princess again became sad and, 
running to her father, begged for a Parijataka flower, and 
the. king, though feeling the impossibility of the request, 
sent for Ratnalpokhet^ and; bade him get the flower. 
Ratnalpolchetty was in a quandary for s time and then 


bethought him of his wife, and that night, turning to 
human form the paddy-sheaf, consulted with his fair 
partner as to where the Parijataka flower existed, and 
how to come by it. She told him that the flower grew 
in her youngest sister’s garden attached to the palace 
and it could be had only with great peril to life. To 
guard against possible perils, she initiated him in certain 
mysterious incantations. 

When the consultation was held between Ratnal- 
polchetty and his beautiful wife, the maid-servant looked 
through a crevice in the wall and, bringing her mistress, 
made her also look through it and remarked : 

‘ Do you see now ? Ratnalpolchetty is no other 
than a prince. I have known this from the beginning 
and so haVe tried to turn the course of your love towards 
him from the very outset. Are you satisfied ? Now when 
Ratnalpolchetty pays you a visit next time, receive him 
with great cheerfulness and taking him in your arms, 
pledge him to make you his chief queen.’ 

We have left Ratnalpolchetty in consultation with 
his wife — the second wife who was in the shape of the 
paddy-sheaf. The consultation over, he made straight 
for the palace resplendent with gems and jewels and pick- 
ing the Parijataka flower from the garden started on the 
homeward course, nay was in the middle of the stream — 
which divides the Rakshasa’s country from that of men 
where the magic or talismanic rattans were found — when 
the Rakshasa saw him and foaming at the mouth in 
great anger, was upon him. Quick as thought, Ratnal- 
polchetty by virtue of incantations, formed myriads of 
serpents and centipedes in the waters, and when these 
were taking hold of the Rakshasa’ s hands and feet, he 
shot an arrow which struck him in the forehead and 
forthwith killed him. 



Danger over and peril surmounted, thanks to the 
incantations taught by his second wife, Ratnalpolchetty 
came back from the stream and now entering the palace 
fearlessly, joined the head and trunk of the fair form 
and, in keeping with his promise, married her in accord- 
ance with the rites of Gandharva marriage. 

This done, he started for his royal master’s country, 
of course, taking with him his wife and, in due course, 
reached it. He at once gave the flower to the king. 
The king was delighted and, calling his daughter, gave it 
to her. She was delighted above measure with the present 
and running to her parrot exclaimed, ‘ Here is your 
Parijataka flower.’ The parrot now approvingly said : 

‘ You must now marry the man who brought the flower.’ 
Hearing these words, the princess swiftly went to her 
father and said imploringly ‘ Marry me to that man who 
brought the flower.’ ‘ That is not so difficult a matter 
as the others were,’ said the king. ‘ It is feasible.’ 
Indeed a pandal was erected the next day as high as the 
sky and a platform of earth was set up as large as the 
earth, and in it was celebrated the mariiage of the 
princess with Ratnalpolchetty with great splendour and 

Staying for a considerable time with his father-in- 
law he asked permission to see his ’first father-in-law. 
This was granted and Ratnalpolchetty, accompanied by 
his four wives, set out and duly reached the country. 
But when our hero wanted to see the king, his wife — the 
king’s daughter — for a long while objected to go with 
him, saying ‘ How can I see him having run away from 
the parental roof ? ’ 

‘Don’t mind that. Fall at his feet,’ replied the 
husband, ‘ He will pardon you.’ She did as was advised 
and was re*ceived again into favour by the kind father 


who, after the lapse of a few days, solemnized the wed- 
ding of his run-away and wayward girl with Ratnalpol- 
chetty with many a binding rite. 

Staying here also for a considerable time he now 
got permission of his father-in-law to go to his father 
whom he longed to see and, without losing time, started 
for his mother-country. In course of time, Ratnalpol- 
chetty reached it, and the instant the father heard of his 
arrival he came and hugging his long-absent son, whom 
he thought to be lost, wept for joy, and, calling his 
heaven-born daughters-in-law close to him kissed them. 
Soon after he performed the marriage of his son with the 
daughters-in-law with great solemnity and on a scale 
that had no regard for cost or expenditure and many 
were the guests, both high and low, invited, and among 
them . were observed the Parentalloo, whose marriage 
song for the brides and bridegroom was so marked for 
harmony and melody. 

The king is there. The son is there, the father 
would not allow him to go abroad any more. His four 
wives — the first wife who discarded the prince at first, 
now raised to be the chief by cajoling or tricks which 
females from Kaikeyi downwards know to perfection — 
are there and we are here. 

The night is far advanced. Now go and come back 
(some time after). 


Once upon a time there was an ass. It went to a 
streamlet one day to quench its thirst. There a tiger 
also came and looking fiercely on the ass’s face, de- 
manded : ‘ Who are you ? Who are you ? ’ 

* Who are you ? ’ retorted the ass by way^^of reply. 

‘ I am 5 ^r,’ said the tiger. 



‘ Well, I am sawa shr,’’ replied the ass. 

‘ Ah ! You are sawa s^r,’ again said the tiger. ‘ We 
shall fix a day to determine who is s^r and who is sawa 
shr.' (In other words, who is greater of the two.) 

The day was fixed. In the meantime the ass would 
wallow in the mud so much that large layers of mud 
formed themselves on its body. 

The day came. The tiger began the combat by 
striking the ass with one of its paws with the result that 
a large lajer of mud fell off. Then it again struck the 
ass and another layer came off. Thus five strokes 
were administered and five layers of mud came off 
successively without hurting the ass in the least. 

Now came the turn of the ass. It began the combat 
by going nearer the tiger and giving it a bard kick with 
one of its hind legs on the face. On receiving it the 
tiger was sorely afraid and immediately ran off and hid 
himself in a blanket telling the shepherd, to whom the 
blanket belonged, that, if sawa ser were to come there and 
ask for s^r, he was to say that it had not passed that 
way. A moment afterwards the ass really came and 
enquired after ser and was informed as was advised, 
upon which the ass exultingly returned. 

The shepherd on returning home in the evening told 
his people how greatly a tiger had been afraid of an ass. 
This was overheard by the tiger from the back of the 
house and not liking it, he resolved on avenging himself 
upon the shepherd. So when he was asleep it took him 
together with his charpoy and on nearing the forest 
asked very roughly : ‘ Why did you tell that to the 
people ? I am going to eat you up.’ 

‘ Ah ! you. You are going to eat me up are you ? ’ 
replied the bold shepherd. ‘ Well, I shall report the 
matter to fawa shr who is hard by.’ Hearing this, the 


tiger dropped the cot and fled precipitately into the 


Once upon a tims there was a king reigning in a 
certain country. He had a son of the name of Prabhud- 
deekoo, who was highly adventurous by nature ; and 
feeling the lack of adventures in his own country, the 
young man left the palace one night in quest of them in 
foreign lands. The father sent his messengers after him 
in all directions but the prince was nowhere to be found. 

In another country there was a king. He had a 
daughter of the name of Sashiprabha. One day or 
rather evening she was passing on her ambari elephant, 
when there came a Rakshasa from the skies and dis- 
persing the attendants, carried off the princess heavenward 
for a while and then descended to carry her into his 

At this juncture came Prabhuddeekoo from the ether 
country and, taking in at a glance the whole situation, 
killed the Rakshasa and rescued the princess. Exulting 
in his first successful adventure he started taking with 
him the princess and in course of time came to a certain 
country. Here he lodged at a Paidharaloo Peddhammah’s 
or the traditional hospice-keeper’s, paying a vara a day ; 
everything went well and it seemed that things would so 

But it was not to be ; for the Rakshasa had a sister 
who vowed that she would avenge the death of her 
brother upon Sashiprabha’s deliverer and true to herself 
followed by a dozen Rakshasas, all assuming h uman 
shapes, she came to the place where the prince and 
princess were and told the following fabricated story : 

folktales from INDIA 


‘ We have all come from Sashiprabha’s father, com- 
missioned to bring the princess wherever she may be, as 
also to bring her deliverer.’ Believing the story, Pra- 
bhuddeekoo allowed Sashiprabha to mount a palanquin 
and to be carried in it, and himself mounting a 
caparisoned horse also started. But when the human 
habitations and confines of the country were passed, the 
palanquin bearers, who were no other 'than Rakshasas, 
began to run with such rapidity, that the prince told them 
not to be in such a hurry. They would not listen ; and 
the more he told them to stop the faster their speed 
became. His suspicions now aroused, Prabhuddeekoo 
killed the ogress and the other Rakshasas. But the 
princess was nowhere to be found ; they had hid her 
already during the confusion that followed in a cave- 
dwelling. This was their object. The prince’s cries 
* Sashiprabha, Sashiprabha ’ were answered only by 
echoes from the hills and trees of those wilds, and no 
princess was forthcoming. 

Disappointed in his attempts to trace where Sashi- 
prabha was concealed, he started back and very soon 
came upon a princess sitting near a jasper fountain, 
sobbing. Taking her to be the princess he looked at 
the face scrutinizingly, and finding it to be different from 
that of Sashiprabha, enquired who she was, whence she 
came and why she was sobbing. Whereupon she un- 
folded her story. She was a princess coming from such 
and such a country ; her attendants, for, reasons they 
knew best, had left her in the jungle to perish. Pitying 
her pathetic case, Prabhuddeekoo with a heavy heart set 
out on his journey taking the princess with him. 

In the meantime on the way he came across a well- 
dressed young man and ascertaining that he was a 
prince like himself, Prabhuddeekoo fell to talking with 

164 MeeRamma And VENKATASWAMI or 

him. Various were the topics discussed ; and when 
there was a lull in the talk the new prince said : 

‘ I have come in search of my sister’s deliverer.’ 

‘ Who is your sister ? ’ asked Prabhuddeekoo with 
a start or in surprise. 

‘ Sashiprabha ’ replied the other. 

Hearing the name the prince fainted and asked 
incoherently ‘ Where is she ? ’ To which question the 
new young man, who now inferring without any suspi- 
cion that that prince was no other than his sister’s deli- 
verer, narrated to Prabhuddeekoo, now recovering from 
his faint, that he, as advised by his father, wended his way 
from forest to forest and at length discovered his sister 
in a solitary cave shut up from the view by high hills 
and thick jungle. ‘ She is at home now,’ added he, ‘ and 
in good health, but ever and anon thinks of her deliverer 
from the Rakshasas. Indeed it was she who sent me 
here to seek you out and bring you.’ 

This piece of news gladdened his heart for now all 
anxiety for Sashiprabha’s safety were removed. Pra- 
bhuddeekoo, along with the princess found at the jasper 
fountain and Sashiprabha’s brother, set out for Sashi- 
prabha’s country ; where the king received his daughter’s 
deliverer with every mark of kindness and, by way of 
recompense, married Sashiprabha to him very soon with 
universal rejoicings. The other princess also was 
married to Prabhuddeekoo at the same time. 

After spending a considerable time in his father-in- 
law’s country, Prabhuddeekoo set out for his own country 
accompanied by his two wives and followed by his 
retinue and duly reached it. The king, his father, 
received him with thankfulness to God and in course 
of time celebrated his marriage with the two daughters- 
in-law resplendent as the full moon. Further to check 



the adventurous spirit of his son which had led him 
away for so many months, he made him king and thus 
had the responsibility of the kingdom set on his shoulders. 

Though I was npt present in the installation cere- 
mony I was present at the wedding and received a gold- 
laced cap as bahumanam. Here you see it. 

The night has far advanced. Now good-night and 
come again. 


A KING had seven sons. With these brothers there was 
a sister. Their royal father died soon after the birth 
of the princess and the mother followed him. The 
princes treated their youngest sister with kindness and 
love in such a manner, that they would not allow her even 
to come down from her golden cradle. 

Now on one occasion these seven princes went on a 
long and distant excursion and their wives — excepting 
that of the seventh — in the meantime had the girl brought 
down from her golden cradle and gave her the dirtiest 
clf'thes to wear and made her eat clay in such quantities 
that her belly became as big as that of a woman 
advanced in pregnancy. Besides this they taunted her 
with these words : ‘ We shall see when you serve ghi on 
our platters (leaf-plates) with a ladle.’ 

And when their husbands returned from the hunting 
expedition, the wives with the exception of the youngest 
prince’s wife, who was the only person who loved the 
unfortunate sister-in-law, told their husbands of the mis- 
conduct of their sister, pointing to her belly as visible 
evidence or proof of what they said, and the princes 
believing their story to be true, had the princess sent into 
a dense forest. 

166 heeramMa And VenRatasWamI oR 

Here the princess’ grief knew no limits : it found 
vent freely and her shrill and heart-rending cries re- 
sounded on all sides. A king, who was hunting hard by, 
hearing it, came to where the princess was. To him she 
unfolded her story — how her brothers, believing their 
wives, had misgiving about her conduct and sent her 
into the jungle though she had no dealings with men, 
God being her only witness and yet her belly, by some 
strange phenomenon, appeared like that of a woman 
in the family way. The king with rapt attention and 
great thoughtfulness listened to the narration ringing 
with candour and truth and, believing in the princess’ 
innocence, took her home. The first thing he did was to 
get some dried tamarinds. These he dipped ip castor 
oil and gave the princess, who ate and had motions and, 
surprise of surprises, the belly, which was abnormally 
big, reduced to its normal level. In course of time the 
king married the princess and the union was a pleasant 
and happy one. 

Now the seven brothers of the princess, whom we now 
call a queen, lost their throne and became very poor, and 
leaving their country they unknowingly came to where 
their sister was, with loads of grass on their heads. One 
day, when the queen was drying her long locks of hair on 
the terrace of her palace, she espied them and recogniz- 
ing in them her merciless brothers, had them sent for. 
They came. Buying the grass from them immediately 
and ascertaining this particular and that without 
revealing herself that she was their sister, the queen 
dismissed them saying in conclusion, ‘ You can bring 
your wives when you next come.’ The seven wives came 
the next time. The queen placed leaf -plates before them 
and, after serving vegetable and other viands on 
them, she began serving ghi with a ladle beginning from 



the first brother’s wife, and when she came to the seventh 
her hand agitated and refused its office and she, embrac- 
ing her dearest and youngest sister-in-law, cried for a 
long while. They recognized each other of course. 
Upon which the other sisters-in-law who also now 
recognized their persecuted relation, were covered with 
confusion, shame and chagrin owing to their augury 
haying becom untrue. Their husbands repented of their 
folly of reposing trust in them to an undue extent with- 
out seeing things for themselves. 


Once a daughter-in-law, in the absence of her mother- 
in-law, killed a fatted hen and dressing it, put it on the 
fire-place to be cooked. In the meantime the mother-in- 
law came and she, being greatly afraid of her, took the 
curry-pot to the back of the house and emptied the 
contents in a snake-hole. 

It was found on the morning that, on the snake-hole, 
a mushroom grew. 

This is the reason why pootta kokooloo (mushrooms) 
taste like fowl or flesh. 


Once upon a time Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha {Adi- 
moorthooloo) wanted to see Ishwara. So Brahma taking 
the form of a crab, Vishnu the form of a boar and 
Mahesha that of a bandicoot, they began to dig down to 
the Pdtdla. Brahma pushed forward and outstripped 
the other two deities and was very much tired in conse- 
quence, but seeing the Mogli flower and the lime return 


after due worship of the deity, told them to say to the 
deities left behind, that he had seen God and turned back. 

Soon after, the two deities came and asked the Mogli 
flower and the lime whether Brahma had seen Ishwara. 
They said ‘ Yes But the gods by second sight knew 
it to be false and cursed Brahma for the lie he had 
invented saying, that he should have no temples dedicated 
to his worship. They also cursed the Mogli flower and 
the lime saying, that they would not be used in the 
worship of gods. ’ 

The curse stands to this day. Brahma has no temple^ 
and the Mogli flower and the lime are not regarded 
sacred in the worship of deities. 


Once upon a time a beggar went to a house and asked 
for victuals. The house-owner’s wife came out on the 
door-stone and told him to bring a ginnai. He brought 
it after getting loan of the same with difficulty from 
another beggar who had it, and received the food and 
ate it. The lady, however, lost the merit of charity by 
coercing the beggar into doing a bit of work before she 
gave charity. She could have served the food on a leaf- 


Once a woman had stolen a neighbour’s fowl. Killing 
it and making curry of it, she told her husband to 
partake of it. 

' Note . — There is a temple, however — the only temple in all India-dedicated 
to his memory — at Poskara, termed the Brahma Poskara, in Central India 
viuted by the French Traveller, Louis Rousselet, and described by him as 
a beautiful piece of architecture. 



‘ I shall be no abettor in this sinful transaction. 
I shall not eat the curry ’ said he. 

When the meal was served, his wife brought him the 
curry. ‘ 1 won’t have it, I won’t have it,’ roared he. 

‘ Do take some of the gravy, some of the gravy 
at least,’ said his wife in a wheedling tone. He consented 
and she began to pour some from a ladle. On the ladle 
there came a large piece of flesh, on seeing which the man 
said : 

‘ I do not want that piece of flesh — that piece of 
flesh, don’t put it, I say, don’t put it.’ 

‘ I do not put it but it wants to be put, what to do ? ’ 
said his wife. 



There was a certain man. He stole a neighbour’s 
fowl, and, making curry of it, .ate it. 

With a view to find out the thief, the owner when he 
saw his neighbours (assembled) together, said : 

‘ If he ate the fowl it is alright, but why should he 
have the grease sticking about him ? ’ 

Being pricked, the thief began to feel about his 
beard and the man caught him. But the fellow made 
amends and the matter was amicably settled. 


There was a lame man and a blind man. On one 
occasion the river overflowed its banks and began flood- 
ing the country, so that all the inhabitants ran up a hill 
pell-mell to save their lives, leaving the beggars behind. 


Now life is dear .to all. The beggars took counsel 
together and hit upon a plan. The blind man took 
upon his back the lame man and ran, • the lame man 
guiding him from above- The result was that they 
arrived at their destination before many of the inhabi- 
tants did. Thus the poor beggars saved their lives by 
their ingenuity. 


An old woman with her slow gait was going to town. 
A foppish young man riding a horse overtook her on 
the way and enquired : 

‘ Where are you going, grandma ? ’ 

‘ To town, grandson.’ 

‘ When will you reach the town, you walk so 
slowly, ? ’ 

‘ I shall, if God wills, in the evening.’ 

The fop, after talking with this man and that man 
on the way, and adjusting his laced turban on the head 
and his clothes about him several times, at length reached 
the town ; and at the same time this old woman reached 
the place. Seeing her he was very much abashed but 
the old woman could not help remarking : 

‘ The time you took with your horse, O young 
man, to reach the town, I have taken also with my 
feeble legs.’ 


Once upon a time leucoderma attacked a certain family, 
attacking one after another and in course of time extermi- 
nated all the members of that large family with a single 
exception. This was a girl given away in marriage to 



another family and living in her mother-in-law’s house 
in the distant land separated by a river. This girl the 
disease now thought of making a victim and with that 
end in view, got inside a cucumber and started on its 

When it was travelling on the waters with great 
rapidity a man observed it and, greatly wondering, asked 
‘ O cucumber, cucumber, where are you bound for at 
such a rate of speed, and what for ? ’ 

‘ To such and such a place in order to attack the sole 
surviving member of a family which I annihilated.’ 

The man heard this with greater wonder than ever 
and, being of a philosophic bent of mind, went to the 
girl’s place before the cucumber and told the house to 
put away the first and the second morsels of food that 
evening under a basket. This was done. 

Next morning it was found that in the food were 
teeming innumerable insects, veritable germs of the 


Such is leucoderma, the horrible disease : it blinds 
the eye and makes the skin assume the colour of a 
morbid white and makes its appearance in families for 


A MONKEY having done for a workman’s rice and 
dhall in his absence, with a view to escape detection, 
applied some of the former to an innocent goat grazing 
hard by. In due course the poor workman returned 
from his duty at midday and to his great chagrin 
found his. meal gone. Seeing the goat with parched 
rice sticking about its beard, he took it to be ^e thief and 

\ 1 l heeramMa and venkataswaMi or 

thrashed the animal mercilessly, the tricky monkey 
escaping however. 


There was once a sensuous king, who desperately 
fell in love with a certain man’s wife. The man was in 
a dire fix as to how to escape from the infamy that 
would, for generations, rest on his family, because of the 
king whose word was law. The wife, however, was a 
resourceful woman. Before the appointed hour of the 
royal visit she put on her gay clothes and fashionable 
trinkets, taking care, however, to eat a large quantity of 
dried gram ; so that when the king came and talked 
with the woman for a few minutes, a bad smell emanated 
with her breath and the result was that the king went 
back as he came. Thus the desire of a woman to 

remain chaste succeeded by a simple stratagem. 



A KING had in his palace a married sister of his who 
gave birth to a girl. When the royal astrologers were 
consulted as to the fortune of the new-born infant, they 
said that it was born under an unlucky star and on the 
thalambraloo ceremony, would run away with a shoe- 
maker. The king was thunderstruck and planning to 
prevent, if possible, the good name of his illustrious 
family from being tarnished, married the girl himself 
when she came of age. 

In due course, by the marriage, he had a daughter 
and two sons. The daughter attained to womanhood 
and proposals for her wedding were a-foot, in fact, it was 



being celebrated ; but when the hour arrived, when the 
shoe-maker should bring a pair of shoes in accordance 
with the traditional custom, the king, always mindful of 
the astrologers’ prophecy (he had shut out the shoe-maker 
from the palace precincts in consequence from the very 
outset), disguised himself as a shoe-maker and himself 
brought the shoes for the bride and bridegroom. His 
wife taking him for a real shoe-maker and, true to the 
prophecy, whispered in his ear, ‘ O let us run away, O let 
us run away He consented and ran away with her 
there and then. The next morning, after they had 
covered a good deal of ground in travelling, the woman 
said : ‘ Why delay, let us advance.’ The king asked 
‘ Where ? ’ and then the queen with dismay recognized 
her husband’s voice. Thus passed the evil hour pre- 


There was once a king. He had a favourite daughter 
whd, taking her father’s unwilling permission, issued a 
proclamation that she would marry that man only who 
would do her bidding under the most trying circum- 

No one asked her in marriage for a lojig time and it 
seemed, as if the princess would have to lead a life of 
single blessedness. One morning, however, a young 
man came to the court and expressed his willingness to 
become the husband of the princess unmindful of the 
condition. The anxious father, who saw his daughter’s 
youthful bloom fading away, embraced the opportunity 
and at once celebrated the princess’s marriage before any 
change should come over his weird girl. 

174 heeramMa and venkataswami or 

The bride and bridegroom were happy in each other’s 
company and many days passed without the former 
asking the latter to do things in any way trying. 
But in due course the princess gave birth to a son 
who only lived for three days. On his death the wife 
ordered her husband to dig a grave and bury the child. 
It was a painful task to the father but he had to 
do it. True to the proverb, goonta pilla yenta kadupu, 
the princess again was in the family way and in due 
time was delivered of a son who lived for a month and 
then died. Again the princess ordered the young man 
to carry out the child, dig a grave and bury it. The 
father had to do it. Again, the princess gave birth to a 
son who had lived for five months and then died. For 
the third time the father was ordered to perform the 
painful duty of digging a grave and burying the child 
himself. Some time after the princess again brought 
forth a son. This one lived for a year and then died, 
and the father had again the unpleasant task much 
against his will of digging a grave and burying the child 

On the fifth day ceremony of the last child, the 
princess ordered her husband to pass the night at the 
tombs and give particulars of what he saw and heard. 
He did so and at midnight he heard his last child from 
the grave speak to the first. 

‘ O how long did you live ? ’ 

‘ For five days. I was indebted but a little to my 
father and mother. Till that debt was settled I stayed 
with them and then came away. 

Then the second broke in and said, ‘ I owe my parents 
a bigger debt. So I stayed with them three months and 
then came away.’ 

Now the third spoke ‘ My debt was bigger than the 



debt of both of you, so you see I stopped with my 
parents for one year and then came away.’ 

‘ But my debt was the biggest of all,’ said the last. ‘ I 
had to remain for one year and then came away. Here 
now I lie with you.’ 

The next morning the Princess heard the strange 
revelation, and thanking her husband for doing her 
bidding under trying conditions, sent him away with pre- 
sents. Thenceforth she had nothing to do with the world 
but retired from it altogether. 


Once a Guru was passing in his palanquin by a forest 
when a simple-minded neatherd, seeing him pass, ran 
as fast as his legs could carry him and begged as a boon 
that he should not be required to work— ostensibly for his 
daily bread. ‘ The boon is granted,’ said the Guru in 
derison. ‘ You will just stand .where you are with your 
hands up and you will not be required to work.’ Taking 
this in earnest, the simpleton stood with his hands up 
and his attention rivetted on the sky in contemplation. 
The rains came and fell in showers over him, the storms 
came and swept by him ; still he stood there. Thus 
twelve years passed and the Guru came again on his 
circuit and, passing by the self-same or very forest, 
caught sight of the neatherd and was wondering within 
himself whether he was not the same man whom he had 
told to stand since he asked to be relieved from work ; 
when lo ! the neatherd began to ascend to heaven — 
chanting a strain as he went ‘ I see Kothandapani. I 
see Ishwara.’ Without a second thought the Guru 
caught hold of his feet and so went up to heaven with 




There was once a pishoo. For a long time it thought 
of tasting the king’s blood, but no opportunity seemed 
to afford itself ; so it cultivated friendship with a bug to 
whom it spoke out its mind one day. 

‘ O bug dear, O bug dear, I am anxious to know what 
king’s blood is like. Will you permit me to go in your 
company ? ’ 

‘ Oh no, no,’ said the bug. ‘ You are a hasty 
creature, I might be killed in your company who knows.’ 

However after much importunity the pishoo got per- 
mission and hid itself under the fourth coverlet, the bug 
occupying the one next it. In the night the king sat on 
his bed and had hardly gone to sleep when the pishoo 
began to suck his blood ravenously. The king immedi- 
ately raised an alarm ‘ O I am bitten, I am bitten,’ and 
the attendants running in made a thorough search 
and found a bug and a pishoo in the bed. These they 
instantly despatched. 


There was once a Guru of the Ramanuja sect — in fact 
the song Hari Hart Ramanuja of the Sathanees of 
which this folklore makes the celebrated reformer and 
founder of the sect to play the role or become the subject 
of the song after the invocation of Hari (God). A firm 
believer in that faith {^Ramanuja Matham) was a disciple, 
rather a servant of Hari (God), attached to the guru ; 
who, renouncing the world, gave himself up to the guru 



living with him in great openness and submissiveness 
ministering to his wants, doing whatever he wished 
and travelling with him in all countries with the sole 
object of learning the chief manthram and the way of 
obtaining absolution or mukhti. 

Now once in the forest the guru felt thirsty and said 
to his disciple : ‘ I feel so thirsty that I am likely to 
die for very thirst. Get some water.’ The disciple was 
in a fix as to where to get water in those places of 
hermits where look where you will you will see forest, 
forest and nothing else, but looking up he saw a flight 
of birds whom he thus addressed ; — 

‘ O birds, who are flying, tell me the place where 
water is.’ 

‘ O sir, come with us without losing your way. 
We shall show you the place of water,’ said the 

He went and brought water, but in the meantime the 
guru had died — writing however the manthram for his 
disciple on the ground with his ebbing s.trength. Just 
when the guru died there had passed a wandering band of 
jugglers. Amongst them was a juggling-woman who. 
seeing writing on the ground, took out her ear-leaf from 
the bored eav-hole and transcribing it rubbed it out from 
the ground. 

The disciple when he came taking the guru to be 
asleep said : ‘ O sir, take some water. I have brought 
it. Do take some, after which you can protect me. 
Moreover, O sleeping Samoodoo it is not decorous that in 
our way here we should sleep.’ But the guru did not 
get up, much less pay heed to the entreaty, so once more 
the disciple besought him, ‘ O what ! Are you angry 
with me for delay. Do take some, after which you can 
find fault with the Haridass (referring to himself as the 


servant of Hari).’ Even then the gu'>'u did not get up ; 
so putting his hand on his breast and taking the cloth 
off his face, the disciple gently shook him so as to arouse 
him ; but it was of no avail — the guru was dead. And 
now at last the fact dawned upon him. 

Shaking off his grief, the disciple, after composing his 
mind, cremated the sadhu and duly performed the last 
rites over him ; then seeing some vestiges of undeciphera- 
ble writing on the ground, he wondered saying pensively to 
himself : ‘ The guru may have written the manthram, but 
it is difficult to trace and I had never asked it separated 
as I was from the guru ’ (on an errand when he was 
passing away). As he thus pondered his attention 
was attracted to a number of large broad foot-prints 
like those of women all over the ground. Seeing 
a shepherd tending his flocks near, the disciple said to 
him : ‘ O young shepherd, will you kindly inform me how 
many women have passed by this way.’ The boy replied 
‘ Hear, O Haridass, that by this way passed a strolling 
company of jugglers. Of that company, a woman-juggler 
took down the writing on the ground (yonder) on her ear- 
leaf and, after blotting out the writing on the ground, 
stealthily moved on.’ 

Whereupon the disciple with great anguish of heart 
exclaimed : ‘ O to think that the holy manthram should 
be published in the streets by a dancing-girl, should be 
disseminated throughout the world by a ballet-dancer ’ ; 
and at once started in search of the woman- juggler 
following in the tracks of the juggler-party and, reaching 
the city of Chola king, made a thorough search in the 
grass-built huts there and finding her in one of them 
addressed thus : ‘ O mother, do protect me. O dancing- 
mother, do take me into your service. I shall do what- 
ever work you bid me do.’ 

folktales from INDIA 


To which the juggling-woman hard-heartedly re- 
plied : ‘ What is the use of your work to us, sir ? We 
have many servants already and there is no vacancy.’ 
Whereupon the disciple burst into tears saying : ‘ It is 
not fair to treat harshly the refugee and one who is 
bewildered in his mind.’ The dancer, now a little 
softened, replied : ‘ Be calm, sir, do not weep,’ adding 
mysteriously, ‘ you are certainly a gem, fit person to keep 
the holy manthram, only the mind is not willing (to part 
with the treasure).’ Thus saying she engaged him to 
look after asses. 

Now in the city — wonder of wonders I all the 
twenty-four bells in the temples had sounded the smva 
ganta or victory bell and had begun to ring together of 
their own accord when the young sadhu set foot on the 
soil of the Chola kingdom. The king surprised at this, 
came to his wife and said : ‘ O Rajendri, my spoiled 
darling. Who are tolling the bells ? What is this 
wonder ? Let us go to the servants’ hall and enquire.’ 
But the servants could give no information, so some of 
them were despatched to ascertain the cause and they 
brought the news that the bells had begun to ring of 
themselves simultaneously from such and such an hour. 

Now the wife of the Chola king was a great 
pativirata, so she attributed this to the arrival of some 
mahatma or great soul ; so with the consent of her 
husband she issued a proclamation that every one in 
the kingdom, man, woman, child and new-born babe, 
without any exception, should be present at the state 
banquet to be given in the evening. Her object in issu- 
ing this was to find out the holy man. In obedience to 
the order all came and the queen enquired whether every 
one was present. ‘ Yes, your majesty,’ said the minister ; 
' all have *come but one — a new servant employed by the 


recently arrived strolling company of jugglers who is 
tending asses some miles away from the city. ‘ He is 
the Mahatma ’ said the queen by second sight. ‘ I shall 
go and fetch him.’ Thus saying she got ready a palan- 
quin green unto auspiciousness and set out for the out- 
skirts of the city and seeing the ass-boy embraced him 
tenderly and said: ‘ My father, do come. You are missed. 
I have come specially for you. You shall have whatever 
you want.’ 

‘ I am an ordinary ass-boy mother. Why are you 
so solicitous for me ? I do not want anything. What 
is this greenish palanquin for an ass-boy P ’ 

Scarcely had he alighted from the palanquin in 
the city than all the bells in the temples began to send 
forth peel after peel of triumphal music. 

At this moment the strolling company of jugglers, 
pursuant to a previous engagement, were performing feats 
of legerdemain, the chief dancer, in virtue of the esoteric 
manthram, was suspended between heaven and earth 
to the great astonishment and wonder of the assembled 
people. Seeing her, the disciple ran to the queen and 
said that he had a very humble request to make. 

‘ What is it my father ? ’ said the queen. 

‘ Only I wish for the ear-leaf of the dancer, mother, 
replied the sadhu. 

His request was granted and, hardly had he read 
with deep religious fervour the holy writing on the palm- 
leaf, than he began his ascent to heaven. Taking hold 
of him the virtuous queen began to go also, the king 
followed suit taking hold of the folds of his wife’s 
drapery and the juggling-woman also taking in the 
situation at a glance caught hold of the king’s feet and 
was also translated to heaven to be absorbed in the Great 

Folktales from iHDia 




Once upon a time a man complained to his neighbour 
that his wife does not give him a bath over the head even 
once a week. 

The other man hearing it said : ‘ Sirrah ! You 
complain that you don’t get a bath even once a week, but 
my wife gives me a bath only once a year at the tinfle of 
Dewali festival. Isn’t that exemplary ? ’ 

These stories are now concluded and as they are 
named, as elsewhere explained, after my departed con- 
sort and myself, I do not see the propriety of dedicating 
them in this collective form to any one outside of the 
family circle and the dedicatory sheet appearing at the 
beginning of the book. Hence the work is dedicated to 
a relation of mine — the only surviving son of a favourite 
sister of mine, and the usual order of dedication is 
reversed, following the precedent set by the author of 
‘ Waverley ’ and the dedicatory sheet attached at the end. 










General Note 

When any one says that small-pox is contagious to a high degree 
and that such and such persons — adults and children — would not 
have died had they not touched or come in contact with their 
small-pox stricken relatives, the old people at once narrate the above 
story. The moral being that, if we are to be attacked by small-pox, 
we must be attacked, no matter how or where, and if destined to 
die by it, or from its effects, we cannot escape, as we are under 
the observation of the Thousand-eyed Mother. 


Rung is the vernacular expression for the ‘ boisterous dances ’ 
of the text (page 11, line 16). It refers to the red colour used at 
the Holi, which is also called Wassant Panchami. To give rung, 
then means to give a boisterous feast, one at which the colour 
used at Holi is u.sed. To give a nautch or dance implies a much 
more decorous entertainment than the other. 


Sadabarth means a free distribution of rice, dhall and ghi, 
and also the place where it is doled out. There are many institu- 
tions of this sort called choultries in the Madras Presidency. 
(Page 26.) 

Manus goon, manus goon is the vernacular expression for 
‘ I smell a man, I smell a man ’ in the text (page 28, line 18) similar 
to what we have in an expanded form in the Bengali folktales 

Woung, moung, khoung 
Monisshee gondo paung 
Dhoreh, dhoreh khaung 

[meaning. Hurrah ! we scent human flesh and we will eat it]. 
Bradley- Birt’s ‘ Fairy Tales of Bengal *, 




It is said that when a person casts his eye on a thing and 
asks it, we should part with it at once or it will be lost or injury 
will be done to the same. (Evil Eye. — Editor, Indian Antiquary,) 
(Page 31, line 14.) 

Because of relationship in the previous birth Hindus are 
firm believers in the law of metempsychosis. (Page 31, line 17.) 

It is said that there are fires under the sea. Vadavanala, a 
mythological person, is in charge of them. (Page 33, line 18.) 


{a) Kunkuma. — A powdered substance, vermilion in colour, 
applied in the form of a circle to the forehead by Hindu women ; 
harnailu — small caskets to hold kunkuma, often made of wood. 
(Page 41.) 

(h) Punyastrees. — Lit. meritorious ladies, or those ladies whose 
husbands are alive as distinguished from widows. They are 
allowed to wear the kunkuma mark on the forehead and to apply 
turmeric-paste to their face, hands and feet. (Page 41.) 

(c) Mdldkara, — Lit. maker of malas or wreaths of flowers, 
usually called a malt (gardener). (Page 41.) 

(jd) Gujras. — Small garlands of flowers for the hands ; turas — 
small garlands of flowers for the head, rather for the head-dress. 
(Page 41.) 

(e) Shaving of the head, lopping of the ears, and cutting of the 
noses of women and parading them in streets after making them 
sit on donkeys with their faces pointing to the tail of the animal 
were old punishments inflicted on women for their misconduct or 
infidelity to their husbands or other heinous offences.- (Page 42, 
line 27.) 

(/) Kasyapa Muni. — The Saint Kasyapa, one of the Saptha- 
rishis (The Great Bear) who first settled at Kashmir. (Page 43.) 

(g) Yamulgiri Parvatam. — The famous Himalaya mountain, 
the highest mountain in the world. Mount Everest, Chomo Lungmo 
[‘Goddess Mother of the Country’] 29,002 feet. Height ascended 
by Major Bruce and Captain Finch, 27,300 feet. (Page 43.) 

{h) Konguvaisindtnu [Telugu] — meaning laid the hem or that 
portion of the sari (Bengali achal) which gracefully cames over 
the head on the ground with a view to secure. (Page 44, line 22.) 




{a) Tiger-king or Pidi-raja (in the original) though ambiguous 
is evidently meant for Chirtha puli, for it is that beast, viz. panther 
or leopard', that killed the heroine of the story. The ambiguity 
arises from the fact that the Telugus apply the same term both for 
tiger and panther or leopard. When we say Puli vochhinadhi 
(tiger came) we do not know whether a pedda puli (Bengal tiger) 
or a Chirtha puli (leopard or panther) is meant. (Page 53.) 

(6) Jangamaya or Jangatna . — A Lingayath or Shivite beggar of 
the Jangama sect who always wears the emblem of phallic linga 
and rudraksha mdld (a garland of holy seeds, oleocarpus ganitas) 
on his neck and has the wide-mouthed Jholay. (Page 53.) 

(c) Jholay or bag hung to the shoulder. In it is kept the vihudi 
(ashes) and in which the alms given in kind, such as rice, Indian 
millet, are received. (Page 53.) 

Basava is the Guru of the Jangamas as narrated in the 
Vishnu Purana. 


(a) Astrologer . — In former times in native courts it was the 
astrologers that the kings turned to for advice on every con- 
ceivable subject — important or trivial, superstitious or otherwise. 
In fact, the astrologers were the prime ministers. This is not 
the case at the present day and it is a good sign of the times. 
(Page 54.) 

(&) Pativirata is one who vowed to take one husband ; in other 
words, her love is centred on one no matter whether he proves good 
or bad in the long run. (Page 54.) 

(c) Arti . — Lamps on a tray waved over a god, goddess, king, 
bridegroom, or bride for a certain number of times. The epithala* 
mium begins with drtigo mangaldrtigo (here goes the arti^ goes the 
good arti). (Page 54.) 

{d) Rice-oath— In Telugu marriages the bride has to take 
an oath on ace that she will not desert her husband till she dies ; 
in the same manner the bridegroom pledges himself. (Page 54.) 




(e) Raja, — Amongst Telugus, Raja or Raju is a term for Maha- 
raja or great king, e.g. Voka raju voonday, meaning there was 
a king, i.e. a great king or Maharaja. (Page 54.) 

(/) Arch Rascal in the original. Areh is used in a contemptuous 
sense by an oriental king having before his mind’s eye the humble 
position of the man he addresses. In every-day slang areh {ekkada 
ra pothavoo) expresses oh ! or exclamation of surprise. (Page 54.) 

(g) Ghat is the place with the boulders here and there 
where the dhohies go to do their washing. It is usually near a 
flowing rivulet or running brook or in some cases close to a river. 
(Page 55.) 

(h) Oh aiya^ aiya. — Oh brother, brother. Aiya is a term in a 
special sense used for one’s father by the rustic children of a poor 
or illiterate individual of a village, e.g. Ma aiya rcllaidhu^ meaning 
. our father did not come*, while the children of a prosperous or 
polished man of a city term their father nctyana^ e.g. Ma ndyana 
ralaidhu, giving the same sense ‘ Our father did not come It is 
used in a general sense by the males and females for a man well- 
stricken in years. O aiya ekkada vellooiconnavu^ O father (not 
the real father) where are you going ? and it is used in a special 
sense to a middle-aged, man, and to a young man as in the present 
case. O aiya^ aiya, when it means a brother, an uterine brother. 
Some say aiya is a corruption for arya, I leave this point for 
philologists to decide as it is not within my province. (Page 55.) 

(^■) Amma or Umma is a term for mother in a special sense ; it 
is used in a general sense for sister — no uterine sister — or elderly 
woman, as in this case, a woman well-stricken in years is also 
called a mother. Will philologists also decide whether umma is 
derived from Uma, the wife of Shiva? Umma is a term added 
after the name of every married woman amongst the Telugus, 
e.g. Tulsi-umma, Heera-umma, Chinna-umma. (Page 55.) 

(/') Ritamhar is a valuable sari with gold lace or embroidery, 
greater portion of which is displayed on the hem or kongoo (achal, 
Bengali) that comes gracefully over the head of the wearer. 
(Page 55.) 

(fe) Dhoban or Bharetan is the wife of a dhobi or Bhareta or 
washerman. Bhareta was the first washerman in the service of 
Rama of Valmiki’s epic (probably the first, bearing that name 
which now become general to apply to every washerijian) and 
assuredly not the wife-beating rascal in that fraternity whg was 


the cause of Seetadevi or Seetainmoroo (Dravidian for goddess 
Seeta) being exiled soon after her rescue from Lanka. (Page 55.) 

(Z) Hindu females do not take their meals in advance or before 
their husbands take theirs ; if they do, it is regarded as a sort of 
breach and the transgressors are looked down upon by the elderly 
women. (Page 56, line 3.) 



{a) Rattling pair of shoes in the original. Rattling is caused 
by placing a piece of broken cocoanut in the making of the shoe. 
This is done by a shoemaker at one’s request at the time of making 
of the shoes. An Indian fop always likes kirku cheppooloo 
(Telugu), meaning a rattling pair of shoes. (Page 56, para. 2) 

(6) Dhobi's boulder . — A large piece of stone in a river-bank 
or on the margin of a rivulet or nullah over which the washerman 
strikes the doffed off clothes mercilessly : this being a part of clean- 
ing process from time immemorial : a process to be deprecated, but 
in the absence of a steam laundry it must continue. (Page 57.) 

{a) Biting of nose by a jealous husband is a common crime in 
India. Of all the Indian ornaments the nose- ring looks graceful on 
the Indian woman’s face which Crawford takes note of. Now 
picture to yourself the sorrow and chagrin of a woman who loses her 
nose or the chief beauty of her life. At the present day she would 
have been provided with an ala in substitution for the nose bit off 
were she to apply to Dr. Hendley of Jaipur without sending even 
the excised nasal organ. In fact, there would have been no dramatic 
irony as was disclosed in the story nor the present folktale with 
that incident taken shape. (Page 60, line 4.) 

(6) Kali, Durga, Bhadrakali, Bhavani and MahctkCtl are the 
names of the goddess Kali. There is a famous temple of Mahakal 
or the Great Time at Avantinagari (the present Oojein). It was in 
existence when Panchatantra was composed in the 6th century, for 
there are references to it in that old Sanskrit work of Vishnu- 
sharma. (Page 60.) 

In India girls attain puberty at twelve nay at eleven years 
of age and become mothers very early j in some cases when they 


are barely twelve years old. We have justly called our heroine 
a girl, not woman : in fact, she was not more than that though she 
was to become a mother. This state of things only reveals what 
is responsible for the bad physique of the Indian races — early 
marriages, of course, which reformers should take note. (Page 62, 
line 25.) 

(a) ‘ Consider the lilies of the field, they toil not, they spin not, yet 
‘ Solomon in all his days of glory was not arrayed like one of these. 
^ Take no thought for the morrow what ye should eat or drink or 
* wherewith ye should be clothed for your heavenly Father provides 
" these * — occur in Bible with reference to trust on God by man. 
(Page 63, line 12.) 

General Note 

The acquisition of Telugu, one of the sweetest languages of 
India (it is called the ‘ Italian of the East ’)i abounding in numerous 
words of Sanskritic origin, is not so difficult as this folktale incul- 
cates. In connection with the Telugu language the name of the 
late Mr. C. P. Brown, Collector of Masulipatam, must endure so 
long as the language endures for his magnum opus — the Dictionary 
English-Telugu and Telugu-English. 


(а) Alms in India are given mostly in kind or grain and very 
little in money. (Page 64, line 10.) 

(б) Luddoos . — An Indian sweetmeat, circular balls of sugar 
with other ingredients therewith. It is palatable to the taste. 
In India sweetmeats are not made for children only, but they 
are made for grown-up people also. (Page 64.) 

(c) Annum parabrahmum , — Food is the chief god — a Telugu 
saying. (Page 64.) 

{d) Tying of the knot is the tying of the tali by which the 
marriage treaty becomes ratified. (Page 65, line 26.) 


So long as the Sanskrit language endures the works of^the poet 
live and it is his immortal masterpiece ' Sakuntala ’ that 



throws a veil over the character of the predominant jewel of the 
Court of Bhoj of Oojein in the manner that the famous work ‘ Wars 
of the Catiline ’ covers the wickedness of the Latin historian (poet ?) 
Sallust. In either case the blemishes marred not the beauty of 
intellect of the oriental and occidental geniuses shadowed forth in 
their respective works which must endure all Kalpas, 

Be it understood that our imbecile was not dealing with the 
question of extermination of pests like the Australian pest of 
rodents but an ordinary one. 


{a) Sutvi is the appellation for the woman who, the Durjis 
(tailors) say,* writes the decrees of fate on the forehead of new- 
born babes. (Page 70.) 

(6) It is said that grahas (constellations) are all powerful till 
persons attain to the age of twelve years when they lose their force 
and no more h&lagrahas and Suthka propitiations in consequence 
are dreamt of by the anxious father on the uneasiness of the child 
becoming apparent. That there is truth in balagrahCls is open to 
doubt or question ; it is however certain that the mortality amongst 
infants is greater than the mortality among adults which seems to 
point out that children are really exempted from the evil effects of 
the constellation soon after they attain to the age of thirteen years 
which is the turning-point in their life to become adults without any 
further trouble or anxiety to parents. (Page 71, line 1.) 

(c) In India wells have regular accommodation below for 
persons to stay. Dada Hari's well in Ahmedabad is an instance of 
the kind on a grand and magnificent scale. Chorhoodi. — The 
Robbers* well is another in the Seoni district of the Central 
Provinces. (Page 70, line 34.) 

Taking the name of God (in vain) is a breach of the Christian 
Dasasila (Ten Commandments), but it is not so amongst the 
Hindus. They take the name of God (Shiva, Shiva, Shiva, 
Haribolj Plaribol) while eating, drinking or sleeping in every 
emergency and on every conceivable occasion* (Page 72) line 20t) 



That the pangs of hunger are not felt by having had recoutse 
to this expedient (Page 73, lines 14-15) which is far-fetched may be 
questioned, but the other expedient practised {on dit) by the 
ill-treated daughter-in-law and the poor in general by tightening 
the waist for taking less food or no food (for some days) may be 

{a) ' Thou shalt not take the name of God (in vain) ’ is a 
Christian Commandment, but when the Hindus take the name 
of god or gods they do so with respect not with levity and this 
may be termed listless respect. (Page 76, line 13.) 

(6) Bangaripittaloo . — Golden birds. Grosbeaks, perhaps, are 
meant. Their intelligence is to be admired in the compartments 
in the nests they make or build separately for the male members, 
the female members, and the young ones. (Page 77.) 

(c) Made him repeat three times so as to bind him in order 
that he may not swerve from his promise. (Page 77, line 12.) 

{d) Nitishastra . — A Work oh Ethics in the Telugu language. 
It is in the form of ‘ Anthology (Page 77.) 

(e) Characteristics of a coronation ceremony of a king selected 
from the people when the royal line becomes extinct. (Page 78, 
lines 1-5.) 

(/) Cheepurloo — brooms; and Chataloo — wicker-work contriv- 
ances utilized by the Telugu females in driving away bran from 
the rice (raw) and picking out gravel stones. (Page 79.) 

(^?) Jalam — water. The first thing given to a guest before 
he sits down to meals, rather when the guest steps in the court- 
yard of a house. (Page 79.) 

{a) Gunjee and kudgu . — Gravel and water of washed rice. 
(Page 80.) 

(6) Chinthabarikay . — A branch of a tamarind tree with which 
strokes are administered. (Page 81, line 13 ) 

General Note 

This is a story of the atta-alludu (mother-in-law-^son-in-law) 
kathalu (stories). The series of such stories is a pretty good one 



and each of the story is of a laughable nature. Amongst the 
Hindus or in Hindu families, the mother-in-law is looked down upon 
as a person to be made fun of at every conceivable opportunity, 
hence her appearance before her son-in-law with a closed or veiled 
face just like a i>ardanashin lady. But some mothers-in-law 
do not mind this for they say in naked truth that the relation they 
stand to their sons- in-law is like that of a mother and the relation 
which their sons-in-law stand to them is like that of a son, as the 
two English words mother-in-law and son-in-law appropriately 

{a) Passimu, — Rice cooked with milk to which, after prepara- 
tion, a little jaggery or sugar is added. (Page 81, para. 4.) 


{a) Rumbha and Urwasi are dancers in the court of Indra. 
They are famed for their beauty. (Page 83.) 

(6) Saraswati. — Goddess or Patroness of Learning. iPage 83.) 

(c) Jet-black hair is considered to be a beauty by the Hindus 
as the Europeans consider of auburn hair amongst themselves. 
(Page 83, lines 19-20.) 

{d) Brahma- — The writer of destinies. In folklore the position 
is assigned to others also such as Vishwakarma, Vidatapurusha, 
Sutwi, and so on. (Page 83, line 34.) 

(e) J erubattalu. — Laced clothes for the head and other parts of 
the body. Lace, thin or thick, is greatly used for cloths worn by 
Hindus. (Page 84.) 

if) Katika. — Collyrium — which is here quite different from the 
other, by applying which to the eye, it is said, you will discern the 
wealth hidden in the matrix of the earth. (Page 85.) 

(g) Kunyakaloo, Kunnailoo also. — There might not be very 
great difference between the two, if there is then those who are in 
the celestial abodes are Deva Kunyaloo — celestial daughters, and 
those who frequent waters are Kunnaikaloo (nymphs). But when 
the former descend on this earth to bathe in its tanks, are they not 
joined by the latter ? The latter also might go to the celestial abodes 
with the former. There is a superstition that Kunnaikaloo select 
from huqian'beings beautiful virgins or newly-married women of 
great personal attraction to keep company with them, I remember 



my wife, who is now no more, telling me of her having seen five 
water nymphs of unheard-of beauty in a konairoo^ where she went 
to bathe some time after her marriage and that they had attracted 
her, one exhibiting her beautiful hands. We hear of such and 
such a girl favoured of Kunnaikaloo. Vide Kincaid’s The Anchorite 
page — for the phenomenon. (Page 85.) 


(a) Errati yaigctni, — A red burnishing copper coin of the value 
of three pies, or say an English penny. (Page 88, line 23.) 


[а) A great insult to a Mahomedan for which a member of the 
Covenanted Civil Service has been dismissed by the Secretary of 
State for India quite recently. (Page 90, line 17.) 

(б) Muezzin. — The crier who, from the terrace or elevated spot 
of a mosque, calls the faithful to prayer. (Page 90, line 18.) 

(c) Panddram. — A religious beggar in loose red ochre colour 
clothes of Malayalam or Tamil nationality. They rear beards and 
moustaches and have on their necks hanging a wreath of rudraksha 
or holy I seeds {eleocarpus ganitas), (Page 90, line 29.) 

(d) Chowpat Raja. — A foolish king of that name reigning in 
Andhair Nageri or city where justice prevails not in which it is 
difficult for upright people to dwell. (Page 91.) 


General Note 

The story inculcates that however much we may guard our 
women they will not give up their infidelity if they are bent upon 
doing so, despite they be kept in forests or places inaccessible 
to man. The story is one of the class of Hamsa-Vimsa or 
Sukasaptati literature charging women with infidelity. 

(а) All is confusion, that is all women are, with one honourable 
exception, wanting in chastity. (Page 91, line 28.) 

(б) One is in confusion or wanting in chastity ; the rest are 
leading the life of householders in the best sense of the term. 
(Page 92, line 12.) 

(c) The Telugus divide women into four classes: — Padmini, 
Hastini^ Shankini, Chithini. The woman of the first class is 



a Pativirata or ideal chaste woman, while the woman of the fourth 
class is one fit to lead the life of a whore though married. The 
other two classes of women are middling, neither very good nor 
very bad. 



Putting of bangles on a woman’s wrist. This is a very interest- 
ing process to watch. The bangle-seller first of ail takes the hand 
of a woman in his, closes it together with the jutting out 
thumb, takes out the suitable bangles chosen by the wearer and 
puts them on softening the hand now and then by pressing and 
making the ‘ knuckles * to break for the purpose. The bangles 
that break while made to fit on the wrists are not charged for. 
(Page 95, lines 14-16.) 

The folktale is narrated by a woman, hence the Rani in con- 
clusion was shown by way of humour as having given to the story- 
teller a sari and a choli. 

‘ I must get here or I shall not get anywhere.’ 

This is a superstition. Further no one in India will give you 
in the mornings anything on credit though you may be an approved 
customer before a transaction, small or large, was made in cash first 
by others. But if you give a copper coin even, to serve as handsel, 
you will get whatever you require. The contention is, that if you 
are given anything on credit first, others also are sure to ask for 
credit during the whole of that day and there will be no cash 
transaction at all. (Page 96, line 6.) 

Beedas, — Pepper leaves, arecanut, nutmeg, cloves, catechu, 
and lime in very small quantities folded in neat small triangular 
packets and presented to a visitor. This is a sort of introduction. 
It is very pleasant to hear ‘ Pan choyi. Pan choyi ’ from boys of 
tender age offering for a copper pan-packets in the Star Theatre 
and other theatres in Calcutta on theatrical nights. (Page 97.) 

‘ Offered the beeda ’ — with a view to become his wife. Rather 
this is a si^n of her having selected the Raja for her husband. 
This sort of marriage may be considered as or likened untg 




a Gandharva mBXT\2i^e or marriage a la Gandharva, or this may be 
a sort of marriage said to obtain amongst Mohomedans. (Page 98, 
line 2.) 

We do not say ‘ Now go,’ but ‘ Now go and come back * when 
we come to the conclusion of a story. For it is said, that if we say 
‘ Now go the person addressed might, who knows, go away for 
good, i.e. die, so we say ‘ Now you go and come {poyee ra.) 
Although this is the Telugu ending of the story and Telugu ideas 
occur here and there in the course of the story, the story itself 
does not appear to be of Telugu origin but of Mahomedan origin, 
for we have Urdu words such as keer, fakeer^ paris^ besides 
Moslem thought and a custom of marriage which may be 
Mahomedan. (Page 98, line 7.) 


Strange though the king’s decree in the folklore may seem, 
it must have been issued by more than one despotic oriental 
king. The sins of Eastern kings were veritably great, but the 
Western kings also were no exceptions ; for Reynolds, I hear, 
though I have not read him, has much to say against them in his 
‘ Mysteries ’. 


{a) Pradakshina, — Circumambulation, sometimes with wet 
clothes on, which depends on the vow one makes. Females are 
specially punctilious in going round a temple before visiting the 
god at once. Do they drive away spirits from them by this 
procedure before entering the sacred precincts ? (Page 99). 

(b) Linga. — The phallic Linga and the Yoni are both 
worshipped as emblems of God Mahadev and his Consort by the 
Shivites. (Page 99). 

(c) Athinti-kodaloo, — The daughter-in-law of the mother-in- 
law’s house. This term is used out of pity for the daughter-in- 
law because of her having no power in her mother-in-law’s house, 
e.g. ‘ She is athinti-kodaloo. What can she do ? ’ goes the saying. 
(Page 99). 

(d) Eight pleasures or Asia bogamuloo. They are — 

(1) Snayhabogam. — The Pleasure of Friendship— cultivating 
friendship and deriving pleasure therefrom. 



(2) Vastrahogam . — The Pleasure of Dress — wearing the 
best clothes, golden laced, of fine texture and of gaudy colours. 

(3) Rajabogam. — Tfie Pleasure of being with the Raja — 
taking meals with him, driving out with him, etc. 

(4) Dhanahogam. — The Pleasure of Wealth — having wealth 
in profusion to do what one pleases and no way in want of el 

(5) Dhanahogam, — The Pleasure of Charity— dispensing 
charity of various kinds — money, cloth, grain, performing charitable 
marriages, thread-ceremonies, etc. 

(6) Annahogam. — The Pleasure of Food — partaking of the 
best food, civil or military, depending on the temperament. 

(7) Streebogam^ — The Pleasure of Women — deriving plea- 
sure in company of women — carnal pleasures including 

(8) Snanabogam. — The Pleasure of Bath — derived from 
ablutions. (Page 99, line 27.) 

General Note 

The folktale has been narrated to the writer by a shoemaker 
of the name of Shevaram living in Lascar Line, Nagpur, Central 
Provinces. The author of Sakuntala and the Mahomedan disciple 
of Ramanand were not contemporaries, for the one flourished in 
the sixth century and the other lived, as history has it, preaching 
the Ramanji Matham (Ramanuja’s Faith) about a.D. 1420. So 
our folklore fabric must fall to the ground because of clashing 
in of time (century) ; or Kabeer, whose date is not disputed as 
Kalidass’s is, might have another contemporary bearing that illus- 
trious name. For in history this name of distinction Kalidass’s 
occurs anterior to sixth century : in other words more than one man 
must have borne this honoured name with honour further added in 
57 B.c. and after under the illustrious Vikramaditya, but not at 
any rate in the early Christian era. Or somehow or other the tale 
must have been mixed up about the sage and poet irrespective of 
time because of their universal renown. 

(a) Vahanas . — Every god or goddess has his or her carneY. 
Shiva has^ his bull ; Durga has her tiger ; Ganesa has his rat ; 
Saras vfati has her peacock and so on, (Page 100.) 



(a) PaidharSlloo Peddhanttnah. — Folktale heroes are made to 
pass their nights or days when they first arrive in a country at a 
Paidhardlloo or Paidharaisi Peddhammah (poor elderly mother), 
whose house may be regarded as an hospice, she herself being the 
proprietress. She is in folklore an old simple dame and chatterbox, 
at times a deceptive woman notwithstanding her good name and 
position as a private boarding house-keeper. Peddhammah lite- 
rally means father’s elder brother’s wife. (Page 101, para. 1.) 

(b) Vara, — A Madras coin valued at Rs. 3-8. (Page 101.) 

(c) Deepavali. — A festival during which houses are beautifully 
illuminated and the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, is worshipped. 
(Page 101.) 

(d) Kich, kich. — Figure of Onomatopceia — that rats make such 
noise, say the Telugus (Page 102, line 2.) 

(e) The bridegroom or bride is subject to five minutes' swoon, 
called flower-swoon, on the bridal procession night, and this is 
attributed to the emanation of scent of flowers. (Page 103, line 8.) 

(/) Andhaeloo, etc. — The ornaments worn on the feet of women 
should always be of silver, unless one is a queen, who alone can 
put on gold ornaments on these parts of the body. (Page 103, 
line 5.) 


{a) Nulghu is the paste made of moongkadal by pounding 
process. Oil is mixed in it and the paste applied to the body and 
rubbed vigorously so as to remove dirt and impart beauty and 
strengths Bath taken after the application of this paste is called 
nulghusndnam or nulgu bath. (Page 104, line 9.) 

(6) Angavasthram, — Cloth or scarf thrown loosely over or 
across the shoulders. It is generally of white cloth with gold 
lace. (Page 104.) 

(c) Bharadhum. — Contraction for Vyasa’s M ahabharatham 
translated into English by P. C. Roy, C.I.E. (Page 104.) 

(d) Kanda is the term employed here, not its English equiva- 
lent * Canto It, for example, conveys more sense or meaning 
because of its samat than the vague meaning conveyed by the 
WQtd Canto. Such is the Sanskrit language^ the mother of all 


19 ? 

languages, so easily bends itself to mould into verse because of its 
samas or other forms of nicety. 

(e) Anjanayuloo — another popular name for Hanuman, the 
monkey god, derived from the name of his old mother Anjanadevi. 
(Page 104.) 

(/) Volloo kalchookokoonday Telugu for ‘ without burning his 
body * rather finger according to the English idiom. (Page 105.) 

(g) Ganga nainoo ranoo, — I swear by the Ganges I won't 
come. (Page 105.) 

[h) Vankara hurra. — A walking stick neither very straight nor 
very crooked — a cross between a straight and a crooked stick 
considered to be a beauty amongst the Telugus. (Page 105.) 

(t) Chemhoo and Vootharani, — Both are brass vessels, the one 
is intended for drinking water, while the other is for keeping doles 
received in kind. (Page 105.) 

(y) Bhagavatam players. — These strolling companies perform 
plays from the Bhagavatam or Diversions of Sri Krishna. They 
have a head called puntuloo (pedagogue), or what we termed in 
the story as manager being equivalent to Sutrddar of Mahratti 
plays ; a dancer, a courtesan, who also represents the histrionic 
talents ; and a drummer called the Sdnaykadu. (Page 106.) 

(fe) Torri gavva. — Broken cowrie. Broken shell (cypra moneta) 
pass for some monetary value in India. Eighty go to make a 
copper coin of the value of about an English penny. (Page 106.) 

(Z) Achhapatra. — Doles of rice or doles received in kind. 
(Page 107.) 

(m) Dhathams — manodatham, dhannadatham, and vakku^ 
datham. — Solemn promises — Promise to self ; Promise to give 
charity ; Promise by word of mouth. (Page 107.) 

(«) A female curse. — Taking three handfuls of earth, the wrong- 
ed woman empties the same in entirety before the sun -god calling 
him to witness the injustice and then curses her enemy. (Page 107.) 

(o) Conclusion of the story by the narrator taking into 
consideration the external circumstances. (Page 107, para. 2.) 

General Note 

This story exhibits deplorable state of things but a chaste Hindu 
v ife would not do anything of the sort. Rather she would prefer to 



take rat’s bane or powdered glass or dhatura or opium and oil 
mixed to put an end to her existence than prostitute herself to 
satisfy the cravings of hunger. But the purpose of the story 
is to teach a lesson that, if we ravish any one’s wife, our wife 
would be ravished by others in turn. 


General Note 

The lesson inculcated by the foregoing story is, that if we take 
advantage of other men’s wives even by so little as pulling aside 
of sari or winking or ogling, etc., or by so great as committing 
improprieties with them, other men also will deal out with the 
same measure to our wives. Pulling aside of sari is a piece 
of disrespect. That privilege is enjoyed by the husband alone 
and this say twice in six months. As a matter of fact there 
arises no occasion for him to make use of the privilege except 
when he would smilingly ask his wife with the words ‘ Behold 
here or look there ’ to rivet her attention on a non-existing thing 
when he would jokingly pull aside the sari. 


General Note 

The story inculcates the benefit arising from keeping aloof 
as much as possible even from legitimate pleasure, or the value 
of staying power leading to prolongation of life, strengthening 
the force of the Mahomedan proverb ‘ Ratanku jatankaro vakt 
par karch^ karo (Take care of the virile power and spend it in 
proper season). 

We doubt persons attaining to the age of 300 years or more, but 
sages in the Himalayan mountains, it is said, live to greater age 
than this, which is corroborated by Christian evidence afforded by 
Metheseula and others living for thousands of years. The average 
span of man’s life on this earth is forty-four years, now reduced to 
thirty-three owing to deterioration of species in physique, but we 
have on record persons living to the limit of 150 tq 200 years of 
age, the centenarians here and there are not to be taken into con- 
sideration. As regards sages, in the course of this note, I may say 
from What I have heard that when theWarangal Railway'-evidently 



the Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway — was being constructed or 
the construction reached the point at the old capital of Pratap 
Rudra, some of the engineers came across some Sadhus underneath 
the ground or in samadhi state who enquired whether Rama had 
punished Ravana» brought back Sita from Lanka and gone to 
his country of Ayodhya. They were informed that Kaliyuga 
had already dawned when they expressed a wish to be convinced 
where they were. From this, it may be imagined, of the age of 
the sages who sat in contemplation these 3,000 years or since the 
time that Rama went to punish Ravana at Lanka. 


Shepherds are considered to be mad-caps or fools and they are 
said to possess no intellect. 

Rumna is the original Hindi expression for a verdant grazing 
ground of our text. It is usually an extensive lawn carpetted 
with grass always by the side of a hill on which the cattle and 
sheep browse to their heart’s content. This is the nistar granted 
to the people as laid down in the Wajib-ul-Arz of a district. 


(а) Ellayi and Mullayi are corrupted forms of the Telugu 
men’s names of Ellaya and Mullaya. 

(б) When narrating a story the narrator asks some one of the 

listeners to say ^ meaning (yes or well) as he proceeds, his idea 

being that one man at least should give him a hearing for the trouble 
he takes of narrating, let all the others be listlessly lying in bed, 

more or less asleep or awake. But when the ^ is not forthcoming 

even from the one listener the narrator himself quietly goes to bed. 

The season for narration of stories is summer of moonlit 
nights and in the open air when, on account of heat or sultry 
character of the season, people are driven out of doors. 


Dervishes . — Hermits and other religious men are fearless and 
outspoken. They are not afraid to speak out their mind even 
to kings, e,g., Shumshirrag of Delhi, vide Swynmerton, ‘ Romantic 
Tales from the Punjab’ 




This is a nursery story. The birdies* names have meanings. 
Dwiya Gambeera — * Splendid Majesty * ; Lachanna Raghurama 
Name after Lakshmana, brother of Rama, and after Rama 
himself of the race of Raghu. (We have a poem in the Sanskrit 
language called Raghuvamsa by Kalidass giving a genealogical 
account of Rama and his ancestors) ; Pairay Ramannah — Name 
of Rama itself ; Pekkev Sundari*-The beautiful. It is not known 
what is meant by Pekkev. This is probably a she-bird’s name. 


{a) Mullaypushpamulu. — Lilies of white colour, jessamines. 
They emit the sweetest of smells felt for some distance. Cartloads 
of these and other kinds of flowers come by rail into Secunderabad 
and Hyderabad (Deccan) from the flower-producing district of 
Warangal. (Page 121, line 5.) 

(6) Married a la Gandharva — According to Gandharva laws of 
marriage. Tn the absence of a priest, both the parties swore 
themselves before a deity to be faithful to each other and garland 
themselves and thus become man and wife. This is the Gandharva 
form of marriage. (Page 121, line 12.) 

(c) ‘ See their brothers’ faces.* — The Telugu original is mokdkloo 
choodadam, meaning seeing faces, i.e. visiting or meeting. Face is 
the principal part of the body, while the hands and feet are not 
as they are immaterial and hence the idiom ‘ seeing faces *. (Page 
121, line 20.) 

(d) Na potty pendlatna is the original expression of the text for 
‘ my short-statured wife *. It is a term of endearment. Shortness 
is considered by Telugus a beauty amongst women. The Telugu 
would not say ‘ My wife,* etc. to a relation when referring to his 
better-half, but always state the term of relationship with which 
the woman his wife stands to the man or woman he is talking to. 
(Page 121, line 33.) 

(e) Devata gana as opposed to Rdkshasa gana, — This is 
an astrological term meaning that those who take theil birth in the 
former gana or class are like gods or goddesses in their tempera- 
ment, while those who take their birth in the latter are like 
Rakshasas in their temperament, (Page 122), 




Neeru Kuttay or Neela pctmoo, — Water stick or water snake. 
(Page 124.) 


Khadira tree is the Acacia catechu. 

Nee vadoo ndlo vuntai. — Original Telugu literally meaning 
'Yours in me,’ referring to the piece of Wood inserted in the 
hole of the axe or eyeletted in the axe and the same allowed to 
remain lengthwise with a view to give it strength and make 
powerful. (Page 125, line 11.) 


Navlipitia or namili is a peacock (pavo crestatus) called a 
gallinaceous fowl in ornithology. It is considered sacred by the 
Hindus and is the carrier (vahana) of Saraswati, the Goddess of 
Learning. Piglipitta is the common Madras Bulbul [molpastes 


{a) The intellect of the GoUavUru — milkmen — is very very in- 
ferior or of small calibre. The Rev. M. A. Sherring of Benares 
says the lower the caste the lesser the intellectual power. He 
is too true, of course ; there are exceptions however — one m ten 
thousand. (Page 125.) 

(6) The Rdmdyana is no ordinary thing : it is as weighty as 
that of a pack on a bullock’s back. Rdtmayana, that immortal epic 
by the great Valmiki, claims a long antiquity of 3,000 years. It is 
read in the evenings in large cities of India by a distinguished 
pandit of great eloquence or oratorical power. First of all the 
Sanskrit text is read, then follow the prakrit explanation with 
illustrations from every-day life. There is not a man who does 
not know the exploits of the high-souled Rama or his faithful 
servant, Hanuman, and there is not a dame or village lassie who is 
not acquainted with the high moral character and sufferings of that 
model of chastity — Seeta, (Page 125.) 


General Note 

The ^barbers are familiar with kings because they come in 
contact with them in the course of their profession. Further they 

202 NOTES 

are a garrulous folk, full of bazaar gossip. For a laughable sketch 
of Tom the Barbsr, please see ‘ Behind the Bungalow * by Eha 
(E. H. Aitken, B.A.), 

When a traveller goes from one country to another one of 
the principal questions asked is about the grain, whether cheap or 
dear. In India if the grain or rice, which is the staple food of the 
Indians, is cheap, the people are said to be content, fully illus- 
trating Goldsmith’s lines ‘ Man wants but little here below and 
that not long.’ Poor unfortunates. They know of no luxuries. 

General Note 

This story is narrated to discourage or discountenance polygamy 
or man’s marrying two wives which, they say, is a cause of con- 
stant quarrel in a family or house. It is true that co- wives fall out 
now and then and cause the husband’s life to be miserable ; it is 
equally true that they live friendly like sisters without coming to 
loggerheads and asking the husband shamefacedly to interfere in 
their trivial matters of petty jealousy. The old law-giver Manu 
distinctly lays down that a man can marry a second wife in addi- 
tion to the first, if the latter, firstly, is a minor or under age ; 
secondly, is suffering from incurable disease ; thirdly, is barren or 
incapable to produce an offspring to perpetuate the race. 

So the fabric of the story falls to the ground by reason of the 
sanctioned law as laid down in the Dharmashctstra of old. 

(a) Shampooing is an usual thing at the homes of some poor 
people (also at the homes of rich people or nawabs). When 
a labourer returns from his work he asks his wife to shampoo 
his legs. This is part of massage treatment finding favour in 
England and many European invalids are benefited by having 
recourse to it at the seaside watering places. Pure shampooing 
must be condemned but not the massage treatment especially in 
the case of invalids. It is with pleasure the writer recollects as 
he writes of the luxurious Turkish Baths he had at the Hamani, 
Delhi, perhaps one of the old Hamams of the Moghul Emperors, 
during his visits to that place in 1889 and 1893 wl^ere massage 
treatment formed an invariable course. This would be considered 
fashionable; but after the tickling sensation caused by shampoo- 
ing by the specialist was over, it becomes a great factor to driving 



out the fatigue of a traveller after his hard wanderings in the 
ruins of the old Hastinapura. (Page 127, line 24.) 

(&) Her mother’s house, not father’s, either because of the esti- 
mation in which a daughter holds her mother, or because of the 
countenance the mother gives to her daughter to run away from 
her husband’s as often as she pleases. (Page 127, line 26.) 


(а) S^ganampadam . — ‘ Sending away ’ in the original or, the 
free rendering, * induce to go away The custom is, that when 
people come to know that cholera has established itself in a certain 
locality they collect subscriptions and make a grand pooja to 
propitiate and send off the goddess good-humouredly before she 
thinks of making a longer stay. This is sdganampadam. Some 
days before the pooja is performed, women — old, middle-aged, 
and young — go to the temple of the devi with potfuls of water 
over their heads and throw the contents thereof before the 
goddess. This is sctkapoyadam and the reason for so doing is to 
lessen the wrath of the goddess preparatory to the performance 
of the pooja which, as a rule, takes some time after, as subscrip- 
tions have to be collected. (Page 128, lines 13-14.) 

(б) Nippooloo hogooloo mringookoonta in the original Telugu 
for the English rendering ‘ burning with rage * ; literally meaning, 
swallowing or devouring fires, charcoal, i.e. venting forth rage 
and anger. (Page 128, line 18.) 



(a) Levdees, — A confection of the Hindus made of jaggery in 
small circular shapes resembling half -rupee pieces and covered 
over with gingelly seeds. The comparison can be said to have 
been finely drawn, at any rate in the place where the folktale was 
narrated, viz. Hyderabad (Deccan), where Halli Sicca coins (118 
of which go to 100 Gt. Rs.) are in use. Levdees resemble these 
State coins. (Page 130.) 

(&) Sooka Houz in the original for a ‘ ruined fountain ’ as it 
were. The’writer is in doubt as to the precise meaning of the 
term. Houz in Hindustani means a fountain or a cistern but 
why the ^dj^tive sooka or dry. The supreme beauty of a fountain 
is water; but we have ruined fountains where water ran dry or 



ivater communication stopped and thus gave asylum to the 
repulsive reptiles, the frog, the toad, the lizard and the bloodsucker. 
(Page 130.) 

(c) Lanka or pyrotechnic display as a whole so called because 
Havana’s Lanka (the modern Ceylon) likened to be such (a 
display) amidst the greatest conflagration that the world has ever 
seen, Hanuman being the cause. A fine comparison assuredly if 
we have before our mind’s eye the scene as portrayed for us by 
the master pen of Valmiki in his immortal work rendered into 
exquisite English poetry by Ralph T. H. Griffith and into chaste 
English prose by Manmatha Nath Datta. (Page 133.) 

(d) T&ritjole or THr^mandal. — A group of starlike appearance 
resembling a constellation of the heavenly bodies. (Page 133.) 

(e) Soorsoorhuttees, — Lights sending out tiny sparks of fire 
soon after making the sound sursur. (Page 133.) 

(/) Chhichboodloo. — Flower pots. Small circular earthen pots 
filled with powder and closed except at the igniting face or orifice. 
They send out flowers when fired. English hunters make use of 
them in their hunting expeditions in making tigers to come out of 
their lairs or lurking-places. (Page 133.) 


(a) Panchang or Panchangam. — Hindu almanac of the Zadkiel 
type and perhaps more. Horoscopes are drawn up from informa- 
tion inferred from this astronomical publication and strange that 
what made mention of in these horoscopes comes to be true 
in the majority of cases. (Page 134.) 

(b) Puspuhattaloo is the original Telugu for saffron or turmeric 
robes. A bridegroom is not allowed to move out from the marriage 
pandal so long as he has these robes on or wears the Kankan 
(bracelet) on the arm. Women folk express great grief when a 
bridegroom dies in his marriage robes or any misfortune happens 
unto him during that period — vide Daisingh Raja Charitra. 
(Page 134, line 28.) 


-Colonel Meadows Taylor in his * Noble Queen * ^ives a very 
beautiful and graphic account of the warlike race of Baiders 
(meaning the fearless) of Shorapore, a confiscated Native State 
of His Exalted Highness the. Nizam's .Dominions* 




(а) Kdshi or Vctrandtshi. — The modern Benares. A very very 
old city and picturesque with its temples and ghats, amongst 
others the famous Dasasamedha and Manikramanika ghats. The 
scene of king Harischandra’s play is laid in this ancient city. 

(б) Ganga. — The river Ganges. It is regarded sacred. To 
take an oath on it is solemn and binding on a true Hindu. 


(a) Roloo. — A wooden mortar in which rice is pounded with a 
pestle called a rokali in Telugu and mosul in Hindustani, a long 
cylindrical wooden thing with a metallic ring at the pounding-end. 

(&) Mudhdhaila. — Tubla (Hindustani) is an Indian musical 
instrument or drum. Both hands, rather the forefingers of each 
hand, are made use while beating it to produce sound. It keeps 
time with instrumental music or the musical instrument called the 
sitar or guitar. 


General Note 

The story is narrated to illustrate the greediness for gold of the 
Brahmin and the cunning nature of the goldsmith. The greed of 
the Brahmin and the cunning of the goldsmith are both proverbial 
throughout India. 


(а) Boosanchar, — To travel on earth literally. In other words, 
to travel in countries. (Page 153.) 

(б) Pyal. — Chaboothra in the Hindustani language. Raised 
seats of earth before a house or Indian dwelling, yet attached to 
the same to the right and left of the principal entrance door. 
They greatly serve the purpose of chairs outside. (Page 153.) 

(c) Palkalputti. — The exact meaning of the term is not known. 
Perhaps it may mean literally slate-bearer or carrier. (Page 153.) 

(d) Rainalpolchetty,—A dealer in precious stones and gems. 
(Page 157.) 

ie) Parijata , — Amaranth^^One of the trees in Paradise. The 
coral tree Brythrimt fnlgtinB. CRase 157.) 



(j) Ravikay. — Choli in Hindustani. A piece of drapery covering 
the back and the chest of the Hindu lady. Both the ends grace- 
fully meet at the hollow of the chest where they are tied with 
a knot. (Page 157.) 

(g) Gandharvavivaha, — A sort of civil marriage. The contract- 
ing parties go before a god or goddess in a temple and vow they 
will be faithful to each other unto death ; after which they garland 
themselves with immortelles and the ceremony is said to be 
complete. Gandharva marriages are celebrated in the absence of 
priests or in countries where there are no priests. (Page 159.) 

(h) Argoo in the original for a platform of earth. A platform of 
mud not at all high but square in form raised exactly in the centre 
of a marriage pandal where, the bridegroom pressing the left foot 
of the bride with his right, ties the gold tali or shatamdnam round 
her neck ; after which rains the turmeric-coloured rice on the 
heads of the happy couple from the hands of the assembled people, 
and the marriage proper is said to be over. (Page 159, line 20.) 

(0 Pdrentalloo, — Married ladies (ladies whose husbands are 
alive) who have the right to take part in a marriage ceremony. 
Adjusting of ornaments on the person of the bride as also applying 
turmeric to her are amongst their other duties. They are given the 
Kunkuma (vermilion powder) and turmeric (this is denied to the 
widows). Pctrentalloo are expected to be pativiratas (note on 
which please see), but some of them though breakers in secret of the 
commandment are still pativiratas to the external unknowing 
world and revered as such after death. A pativirata differs 
from the pdrentalloo in this respect, that the former is chaste or 
acts up to her vow conscientiously or is born as such, while the 
latter might not be and still none would point their finger at her 
because of the umbrella she has over her head (i.e., because of 
her husband being alive). (Page 160.) 

(j) Kaikeyi. — The favourite wife of Dasharatha, the father of 
the hero RSma of Valmiki's epic. The reference is that when the 
chariot was travelling in space or in the meghamandala or firma- 
ment with great velocity, Kaikeyi, the favourite wife of Dasha- 
ratha, had had a bolt of the car surreptitiously removed and, insert- 
ing her finger in the hole, called the attention of her "husband in 
the words : ‘ J ust look. Had it not been for me your chariot ere 
long would have gone to Pdttetla (earth below) and turned tp atoms.’ 
The unsuspicious or simple king believed her statement and| 



applauding her action, bade Kaikeyi to name any boon and it 
would be granted unto her. * Grant *, said the cunning queen, 
that one of my sons be crowned king in preference to others 
Need it be said that the boon was granted with what result we 
know : for this the obedient and humble Rama, though the first 
born of the chief queen, had to go into exile for fourteen long 
years. (Page 160.) 

There is a fun on the words Ser and Savds^r. S^r means a tiger 
and Sav^ser more than a tiger. Ser is a weight of 2 lbs. and 
SavStsdr 2^ lbs. 

Poottakokooloo is the Indian fungus grown on hills and hillocks 
but not to an appreciable extent. It is inferior to the English 
mushroom. There is another kind of fungus, yellowish in colour 
and smaller in size, growing about the houses or on dung-hills but 
it is not eaten by the people. They say that this is not the true 
fungus, being born of the urine made by dogs. (Page 167.) 

Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha form the Hindu triad. Brahma 
being the Creator, Vishnu the Reproducer and Mahesha the 
Destroyer. (Page 167, line 26.) 


Ginnai . — A vessel made of bell-metal and resembling an earthen 
plate to eat out of, say, a poringer. (Page 168.) 



General Note 

What is,ham and turkey to the Englishmen so is fowl curry to 
the poor Hindu Sudra of the Madras Presidency. When a 
relative or ^friend comes to a Hindu’s house the domestic fowl 
{kodi) is* killed to entertain him, 




General Note 

The story is narrated with the application that girls from a 
family that is attacked by leucoderma should never be asked in 



General Note 

Providentially in most cases and by extreme precaution in 
some cases the evil or dangerous hour is averted, but when the 
last moment arrives nothing can turn aside the mortal danger. 
Zadkiel some years back cast an horoscope of Alexander II of 
Russia in connection with which he spoke in his almanac that, had 
the evil hour arrived at by the help of the heavenly bodies been 
averted by caution, the Czar would not have been assassinated. 
Though astrology gave birth to astronomy and strangely enough 
lost its value, nevertheless it is true when handled by experts. 
The predictions of the Bengal prophet have, in most cases, been 
fulfilled. Colonel Meadows Taylor in his ‘ Story of My Life ’ tells 
us how the life of the young inquisitive Shorepore Raja — the last, 
of the Beydar Rajas — was terminated as mentioned in his Janma- 
patrika. Sir Edwin Arnold narrates the death of Dr. Howard, the 
Director of Public Instruction, as foretold by the Joshi. 


General Note 

The story is narrated to teach those who lose their children in 
infancy that children are our creditors of the previous birth. They 
come into the present birth to repay. When the debt is big they 
stay long, if small they tarry for a little or short while and then 
go away. 

(а) Goont&pilla yenta kadupu, — The sooner a child is laid in 
the grave the quicker the conception takes place. *(Page 174, 
line 8.) 

(б) The fifth day ceremony is the ceremony performed on the 
fifth day of the demise of an infant dr child, dispensing with the 



third and tho tenth day or chief day \,peddadinuM or big day 
ceremony] ceremonies which must take place in the case of a 
deceased adult. The ceremony at the graveyard consists in making 
a small hole on the top of the cowdung plastered tomb and 
putting into it, after purification, milk, fruits, sweets, etc. which 
the infant or child liked during its life-time on this earth, the priest 
sitting over the tomb and, under cover of a cloth, partaking of 
pindapradan or what is offered to the spirit. Other ceremonies 
follow at the house of the deceased. (Page 174, line 22.) 


General Note 

In some districts of the Central Provinces, e.g. Seoni and Jubbul- 
pore, there is a regular pest of Pishoo — Hindustani, a very small 
flea — black in appearance and probably of the class of lice, taking 
possession of hair-growth in the man’s body. In this connection a 
story is told : Once a gosai while passing through one of these 
districts, asked for alms. The inmate of a house thereof, who was 
taking meals then, replied * KUthavoo ’ (meaning, ‘ I am taking 
food '). Kdthaitaho Khuj&thairako (Hindustani meaning, * may 
you be eating and scratching *) said the gosai and moved on. Since 
then the curse is said to rest on these districts and the people are 
in consequence annoyed to vexation point by the bite of these 
terrible fleas. 


(а) S&thltnees — DasariwCtndlu — Telugu religious beggars of 
the sect of Ramanuja, the Reformer. (Page 176.) 

(б) Chevvaku (Telugu, Ear-leaf) — A bit of palm-leaf rolled and 
inserted as an ornament by the Tamil ladies and women of the 
Madras Presidency in the large and broad hole bored for the 
purpose in the lobe of the ear. I remember while travelling in 
the Madras Presidency the happy idea of a fellow-passenger of 
mine of iitserting small ivory paintings (I brought from Northern 
India and which 1 have shown him) in the ears — the bored ears : 
the Tamil -name of which is Tollakddhu — of his wife. This by 
the by is an instance of Deformity in Fashion. (Page 180, line 24.) 




(c) Dommaridhi — Telugu, a female juggler. 

Dommarawadu — Telugu, a male juggler. 

Dommarawdndlu — Telugu, jugglers collectively for both 
male and female. — A general term for jugglers of all sorts, whether 
tight-rope dancers or walkers on the rope in Blondin fashion 
or those who perform feats of legerdemain. 

(jd) Chola — A famous dynasty of kings reigned in Trichinopoly. 
Chola and Pandya are dynasties famous in history. (Page 178.) 

(e) No vacancy — Enter any office in India and find the un- 
interesting notice to the humble office-seeker on the notice-board in 
the words ‘ No vacancy ’ in broad bold letters. Strange is the 
ambition of almost every one here to become a clerk in a Govern- 
ment office and forsake other professions, lucrative or otherwise. 
(Page 179, line 3.) 

(J) Green palanquin — A palanquin decorated with green leaves 
and shoots of plants. We also speak of green pandal or pandal 
erected for the celebration therein of a marriage in which green 
leaves, etc., are employed in profusion. Green means auspicious- 
ness. (Page 180, line 4.) 

(g) Pativrata — See note in Story No. 17, (Page 54.) 

What you term Diwali in the Bombay Presidency, Central 
Provinces and other parts, is termed Deepawali in Southern India. 
It is a Hindu festival, when all the houses are illuminated and the 
Goddess of Wealth worshipped ; when the Marwadis or the banker 
class whose new year begins from Diwali, close the accounts of the 
past year and open new ones, and gamble besides on a large scale. 
Diwali is derived from Div (Mahratti) a light ; dli, a row of lights, 
i.e. a line of lights. Deepawali (Telugu) is derived from deepa, 
a light ; wali, a cluster or row ; i.e. a cluster or row of lights. 

Achdryuloo, T. 
Adhar, H. 

A dimoor thooloo^ T. 
Adhrushta, T. 
Alludu, T. 

Amhccri^ T. 

Amma^ T. 
Ainmavdrut T. 
AndhailoOj T. 
Afigula, S. 
Anjanayuloo, T. 

Apsaras, T. 
Aryabumij T. 
Aryavdrta, T, 

A Sana, H. 

Attar, H. 

Aiya, T. 

Bald, Hin. 

Bala, S. 

Bahumdnam, T. 
Bania, H. 

Banyan (Anglicised) 

Ber, Hin. 
Boroogooloo, T. 
Bootulli, T. 

Boodevi, T. 

Bhdrata, M. 

Bharathaiifirsha, H. 
Bharathahhumii M. 



. . . Spiritual preceptor. 

... Nourishment. 

... The Hindu Triad. 

... Fate, destiny. 

... Son-in-law. 

... Royal seat on an elephant. 

. .. Mother. 

. .. The Goddess of Small-pox. 

... Silver ornaments for women’s feet. 

A span in length. 

Hanuman the servant of Rama the 
Epic hero. 

Heavenly dancers. 

... India. 

. .. India. 

... Seat. 

... Otto. 

... Father. 


Evil spirit. 

... A child. 


... A grocer. 

... The Indian fig tree Bengalensis. 
Ficus Indica. 

... The jujube tree. (Zizyphus jujubam) 
... Fried Indian millet. 

... Mother Earth. 

... The Goddess of Earth. 

... A famous Indian king [son of Dushyanta 
and Sakuntala] . 

... India. 

... India. 



Bhareta, H. 

... Washerman, the iirst washerman of 

Bharetan, H. 

... His wife. 

Bindai, T. 

... A brass pot for water. 

Brahma^ S. 

... One of the Gods of the Hindu Triad. 

Chaddar^ H. 


Cloth thrown across the body of a 

Chakwa Chakwi, H. 

... The Chakcr birds. 

Chamar^ Hin. 

... A member of the shoemaker caste. 

ChapSltis, H. 

... Wheaten cakes. 

Chnrpoy, H. 

An Indian country cot. 

Chataloo^ T. 

... Winnowers. 

Cheepurloo, T. 


Cheer ay ^ T. 

... A sari. 

ChemhoOy T. 

... A drinking vessel of brass. 

Chinta, T. 

... Tamarind. 

Chintabarikay, T. 

... A shoot of a Tamarind tree. 

Choli, M. 

... An Indian woman’s bodice. 

Cliowk, Hin. 

... Main street, a boulevard. 

Chunclm (Anglicised) 

... Lime or stucco. 

Conjee^ Tam. 

... Gruel. 

Cowry, Hin. 

. . . Cypra moneta. 

Dakshinadisha, S. 


) ^ 

Ddkshindtya, S. 

> The southern country or the Deccan. 

Darbar, H. 

... Levee or drawing-room. 

Daridrium, T. 

... Adversity. 

Devi^ H. 

... Goddess. 

Dhall, H. 

... A kind of vetch. 


... Salutation unto thee, mother-in-law. 

Dher, H. 

... A low caste of Hindustan. 

Dhobi, H. 

... A washerman. 

Dhobun, H. 

... A washerwoman. 

Dhoti, H. 

... A Hindu male dress. 

Durba, S. 

... A kind of grass (Agros^ts linearis) 

Durji, Hin. 

... A tailor. 

Dwija, S. 

... A twice-born (Brahmin) • 



Pakeer, Hin. ... A religious beggar. 


Gajendra, T. 


Ganga or Ganges, T. and 

Garhaddn^ H . ? 

Garbavcisit T. ^ 

Garha^ Hin. 

Ghatika, S. 

Ghi, Hin. 

Ginnai, T. 

Godhamuloo, T. 
Gollax9>ddu, T. 
GollawdndLu, T. 

Gosai or gosain, H. 

Gujri, H. 

Gunjee, T. 

Guriginja or Gidivcndha, 

GurUf S. 

An elephant. 

Hindu God of Learning. 

Name of a famous river in India. 

Consummation of marriage. 

An earthen pot for water. 

Clarified butter. 

A porringer. 


A milkman. 


A sage or recluse. 

A market-place. 


Abrus precatorius seed. 

A teacher. 

Hamsa, T. 
Hanufftan, H. 
Haridas, M. 
Heera, H. 


A bird of the flamingo species. 
Servant of Rama, the Epic hero. 
A servant or slave of Hari. 

An emerald. 

Indra Sahha^ H. 
Ishwata, S. 

Jalam, S. 
Jangama, T. 
Jantnapatrika^ M. 
JaribattaloOf T. 


Court of Indra. 

God. lit. Lord of the earth. 



A Shaivite religious beggar. 
An horoscope. 

Laced cloths. 


Jholay, T. (Jholi, H.) 
Jhoomk^loot T. 

Joshi, M. 

KalpUi S. 

Kdnda, T. 
Kdrdgruham, T. 
Kathaloo, T. 

Keer, H. 

Kismath, H. 

Khandif M. 

Khudawundhy Hin. 
Khuncholi, M. 

Kokay T. 

KonairoOy T. 
Koodoorooy T. 
Kothandapctnyy T, 
Kotwaly H. 

Kuberuy S. 

KudgUy T. 

Lakhy H. 

Laly H. 

Lal^fty !E^I 

Lanka y H. 
Lota, H. 
LiiddooSy H. 
Lungotiy H. 

Mahathmay T. 
Mahashy S. 
Mainaka, S. 

Malakara, S. 
Mafidhiraniy T, 
Marwadiy H. 

A sack to receive doles. 

Women’s ornaments (gold) for the ears. 
An astrologer. 


A cycle of years. 




An Indian sweet dish. 


An Indian measure of 8+0 lbs. 

Cboli with a silk border, 

A Sari. 

A cistern, square or circular. 

Spindle shanks. 

A Hindu God or Krishna. 

Prefect of police. 

The Hindu God of Wealth. 

Water of washed rice. 


One hundred thousand. 

A ruby. 

Possessor of rubies. 

Island of Ceylon. 

A brass drinking vessel. 

A kind of Indian sweetmeat. 


A great soul. 

One of the Gods of the Hindu Triad. 
One of the celestial dancers. 

A florist. 

An Hindu temple. 

An inhabitant of Marwa^, usually a 



MUrwddafiy H. 

Wife of a Mar wadi. 

Mat^y H. 

The Goddess of Sniall-pox. 

Manthram, T. 

A sacred text, a charm. 

Manthriy T. 

A minister. 

Maya, T. 

An illusion. 

Meghamandaly M. 


Mehtar, Vl'in. 

A member of the sweeper caste. 

Meruy T. 

Paradise of Hindus. 

Mimamsay S. 

Vedic exegetics. 

Mogiliy T. 

Kevda flower. {Pand a n u s odora^ 

Mohwa, Hin. 

Bassia latifolia. 

Moorwoolooy T. 

Silver ornaments for women’s feet. 

Muhurta, M. 


Mukhtiy T. 


Mullay pushpamuloOy T. 

Lily flowers, jessamines. 

Naiwedhyat M. 
Nautchesy Hin. 
Nitishdstra, T. 



Musical entertainments. 
A work on ethics. 


Pacheesiy H. 

The Indian Chess. 

Pancha, T. 

An ordinary dhoti or Hindu male dress, 

Pandaram, T. 

. . A religious beggar of Southern country, 

Pandit y‘ H. 

A learned man, a teacher. 

Panneeruy T. 


Panniara, H. 

.. Water-carrier. 

Pardhanashin, Hin. 

k pur'^ha \didy. 

Pariy H. 

A fairy. 

Parmeshwar, S. 

.. God. 

P^rwatiy S. 

The Consort of Parameshvara. 

Patala, M. 

The nether regions. 

Pcttashala, S. 

. . School. 

Pathriy T. 

Sacred leaves of trees. 

PctvadalUy T. 

Silver ornaments for women’s feet. 

Pilla, T. • 

. . . A girl. 

Pillendluy T. 

Ornaments (silver) for women’s toes, 

Pilliamniai T. 

... Some Hindu village goddesst 


Pipaly H. 

Pishooy T. 

Ponna, T. 

Poojay H. 
Pradakshinay H. 
Pradhnniy T. 
PrandtHy S. 
Prdnapathyy T. 
Priyayy T. 
Pullyarswamiy Tam. 

PushpGy T. 

PuspUy T. 

Pyaly Hin. 

Raj ay H. 

Rajahansay S. 
Rajendriy S. 

Rdkhas or Rdkshasy 
and S. 

Rakshashay S. 
Rakshashiy S. 
Ramhhay S. 

Raniy H. 

Ravikay, T. 

Rupee {Rupia, S.) 

Sadhuy H. 

Sdmoodoo, T. 
Sdnaykdduy T. 
Sandhyay T. 

Saniy T. 

Santhosay S. 
Saraswatiy S. 

Sdriy H. 


A Fig tree. {Ficus religiosa). 

A flea. 

A tree called the Alexandrian laurel 
{Calophyllum inophyllum). 



A minister. 


Lord of Life, a term for husband. 

O Dear. 

Ganesha, the God of Learning. 

A flower. 


Chabuthra — Raised seats before a 
Hindu house. 


A king. 

A swan. 

Indrani or a chief queen among women. 
An ogre. 


... An ogress. 

A celestial dancer. 

A queen. 

Bodice of a Hindu woman. 

An Indian coin worth Is. ^d. in value. 


A sage. 

. . A guru. 

... A drummer. 

.. Evening. 

. . The Saturn or the God of Misfortunes. 

The [Hindu] Goddess or Patroness of 

.. A Hindu woman’s dress. 



Sava ser 

An Indian weight of 2i lbs. 

Ser, H. 

An Indian weight of 2 lbs. 

Shastra, S. 


Siromani, M. 

... Chief. 

Sloka, T. 


Sohanatfij T. 

Nuptial ceremony. 

Surwa, T. 

Brass pot for water. 

Surwaganta, T. 

Chief or victory bell in a temple, 

SuryanarSyana, T. 

... The Sun God. 

Sxvamindtdh^, T. 

... Tlie Lord God, 


Tahsildar, T. 

Holder of a Talisil. An officer in 
charge of a Tahsil. 

Talar iwadu^ 'V. 

A petty officer in a village. • 

Tamdsha, H. 


Thalanihraloo^ 'L\ . 

Chief ceremony in a Hindu marriage. 

Tilaha, :\I. 

... Caste or sectarian mark on the fore- 

Tillottama, T. 

One of the celestial dancers. 

Toddloo, T. 

Silver ornaments for women's feet. 

Tola, H. 

... An Indian weight (one eightieth of a 


Urwasi, S. 

One of the celestial dancers. 

Uththa, T. 



VdhandSf S. 


Vaisakh S. 

... Summer. Second Hindu month corres- 
ponding to English May. 

Vctkudatham, T. 

A pledge or promise by the mouth. 

V dnaprastha, S. 

A dweller in a torest. 

Vara, T. 

... A silver coin worth Rs. 3^ in value. 

Vctrandshi, S. 

Kashi or Benaresi the sacred city of 


the Hindus. 

Vastra, S. 

... Cloth. 

Vedas, S. ’ 


Hindu religious books. 



VigrUha, S. 
VishnUi S. 
Vishwakarma, S. 

Yama, S. 

Zamindar, H. 


One of the Gods of the Hindu Triad. 
The Architect of the Gods. 


The God of Death. The Indian Pluto- 

A landlord. 

H. stands for Hindi ; Hin. for Hindustani ; M. for Maratti ; 
S. for Sanskrit ; T. for Telugu ; Tam. for Tamil. 

Note.— Words for which fuller explanations are required, or 
words not found in the Glossary please refer to Notes. 



Accomplishments— Horse-riding by 
a prince and princess, 154 
^sop’s Fables, reference to, Pre- 
face, viii 

Affinity, (existing from the pre- 
vious birth) between a horse and 
a princess. 32 ; note, page 184 
Agni and Varuna (Story of), 143 
Alms asked of a morning in the 
first house, if not obtained, would 
not be obtained anywhere that 
day, a superstition, 96 
Ammavdru, the goddess of small- 
pox, 1 

Animals, referred to, bullocks, 47 ; 
sea-dogs, 47 ; ass, 50 ; horse, 51, 
54 ; ape, 53 ; monkey, 52, 172 ; 
tiger, 53; -ape, 53; bear, 53; 
panther, 53 ; State elephant, 54 ; 
camel, 56 ; ass, a (carrier) 

of Kabeerdass, 100 ; hare, 116 ; 
jackals, 117 ; dog, 142 ; elephant, 
142 ; bull, 143 ; rats, 145 ; cats, 
145 ; dog, faithful, 146 ; conten- 
tion among (tiger and ass) as to 
who is greater, 160 ; goat, 171. 
Animal sacrifices, a goddess exact- 
ing a promise not to stand in the 
way of devotees offering, 129 
Anjanayuloo, the monkey god, note, 
page 197 
Ape, 52 

Arms— axe, 125 ; arrows, 158 
Arti, the waving of lamps, 54 ; note, 
page 185 

Aryavarta, the land of, referred to, 

Ashes, mixed with flour, 17 
Ass, a vahana (carrier) of Kabeer- 
dass, 100 ; the tiger and the 
(Story of), 160 
Astrologer, referred to, 172 
Auspicious numbers, seven 13, 29, 
38, 52, 57, 93, three, 120 
Auspiciousness, greenness, a sign 
of, 1^ 

Austerities, practice of, for obtain- 
ing progeny, 154 

Axe, the Khadira Tree and the 
(Story of), 125 


Baidars, the country of, referred to, 

Baki Bhulamoodo, a Telugu hero, 
identified with Raja Rasaloo, vi 
Bangle seller, 95 ; note, page 193 
Banquet, all must be present in a 
man, woman, and child, and new 
born babe, so as to find out 
whether any one was missed, 195 
Barbers, two (Story of), 89; qua- 
lifications of, 89 : cruelty of, 90 ; 
tricky, 113 ; the King and the 
Selfish, (Story of), 127 ; the King 
and the (Story of) , 133 
Bath, a man to have a weekly, 
reversed, 143 ; nulghu 104 ; note, 
page 196 
Bear, 53, 

Beasts, language of, to understand, 
a qualification, 37 ; language of 
(jackals), 118 

Beauty obtained by eating one who 
is beautiful, a Rakshashi idea, 

Beedas, 97 ; note, page 193 
Beggar and the Tactless Charitable 
Lady (Story of), 168 
Benares (Varanashi, Kashi), the 
sacred city of the Hindus, 138 ; 
note, page 205 

Ber (the jujubei) Tree, The Voung 
Man, the Police Official and the 
(Story of), 115 ; not to be planted 
in front of a house, 115 
Bhagavatam players, 106 ; note, 
page 196 

Bharatvarsha (Bharatbhumi , 
Aryavarta), India, 41 
Bidpai (Pilpay), fable writer, refer- 
red to, V 

Bilgrami Shums-ul Ulama Syed 
Ali, the eminent Sanskritist, 
referred to, viii 

Birds— white crows, 27 ; as carriers 
kind 29 ; Chakwa chakwi, 33 ; 
cranes 35 ; crows, 51, 113 ; Bun- 
garipittaloo, 76; peacocks, 
{Navlipitta), bulbul (Piglipitta) , 
123 ; Rajahansa, 138 ; doves, 141 ; 
cocks, 142 ; patrots, 186 



Blessing, a mother's strange, 36 
Bluestocking. The Taming of the 
(Story of) , 6 

Body dead, not to be cremated or 
buried but put in a glass case, 94 
Boon, 60, 99. 129, 140 
Brahma, one of the Adimoor- 
thooloo^ takes the form of a crab, 
167 ; not to have temples, footnote 
on page 167 

Brahmin, the Tiger and the Ass 
Story of), 49 ; Oilman and the 
Story of), 103 ; The Faulty 
(Story of), 138; The Goldsmith 
the Image of Gold and the, 153 
Branding (a sort of punishment), 
self-indicted, 114 

Brother, nobility of, 3 ; love of a, 
for his sister, 95 ; extreme enmity 
of, 146 

Bug, Story of the Pishoo (flea) and 
the, 176 ; note, page 209 
Bulbul, Madras {Mol pastes hamor- 
hons), Piglifiilta, 125] note, page 

Bull, God sent out a, to make 
certain declarations, 143. 
Bullocks, referred to, 47 
Btmgaripittaloo or golden birds, 76; 
note, page 190 

Burial, a dead body not to be given 
a, but put in a glass case, 94 


Camels, 56 

Calumniated princess a, 3 
Caste, How Englishmen lost their, 

Cat, an agent of a courtesan for 
aiding her in winning on pacheesee 
board, 145 

Cenotaph with inscription thereon 
to a devoted wife, 123. 124 
Centipedes, 146 

Ceremonies— , garbavdsi, 
40 ; nuptial or sobanam, 40 ; coro- 
nating a king by an elephant, 77-8 
Chantars, a section of the depressed 
classes, 141 

Charity, a kingdom saved from 
being invaded by, 20 ; a maid- 
servant made a queen on account 
of her, 20 ; uncooked rice in, 103 ; 
loss of merit of, an instance, 168 ; 
The Tactless Charitable Lady and 
the Beggar, (Story of) , 168 
Chastity, prayer to Ishwara for pre- 
servation of, 43 ; a woman's 
stratagem to preserve her, 172 

Chess, reference to, 13 ; horses as 
wager in a game of, 131 
Children, Dead, The Princess, Her 
Husband and their (Story of), 173 
Chola queen and king, reference to, 
179-80 ; note, page 210 
Circumambulation about a 
temple, 99 
Clay-eating, 165 

Clothes, rending of, a sign o f 
extreme disgust or discontent, 5 
Cock, 142 

Companion, suitable to princess, 42 
Computation, of height of water 
(Indian), 76 ; of time by God and 
man contrasted, 80 ; gold as large 
as a hen’s egg a.. 127 
Consanguinity— marriage with one s 
.sister's daughter among the 
Dravidian Telugus, 172 
Contention between Agni and 
Varuna as to who is greater, 143 ; 
Contention among animals (tiger 
and ass) as to who greater, 160 
Contrivance to put in mind of a 
thing — Needle stuck in a towel a, 

Conveyance— Palanquin, 180 
Coronation of a king by an ele- 
phant, 77-8 

Cot, sleeping underneath a high, 
an expedient to be ever near a 
friend, 59 

Counterfeit coins, 57 
Courageous young man, a (The 
Young Man and Hazari Lai of 
Baidars' Daughter), 135 
Court, Regularly constituted 105 ; 
State, 105 

Courtesan, faithful, a, 147 
Cranes, 35 

Cremation, a dead body not to be 
given a, but put in a glass case, 

Cries for alms, 96 
Crop, bumper, of wheat, 110 
Crow, The, and Its Ninety Eggs, 
(Story of), 51; white, grateful and 
kind, 87 ; brands itself and com- 
mits suicide, 114 ; names of the 
young ones of a, 114 
Cumulative rhymes, 149 
Curses— Kalidass to die at the hands 
of prostitutes, 68 ; a prostitute's 
throwing of three handfuls of 
earth before the sun, 104; Brahma 
not to have temples, page 168 and 
footnote thereon ; ^ogli flower 
and lime to be disoarded in 
worship, 168 ; note, page 197 



1 ) 

Dathams, the three, 1Q7 ; note, page 

Daughters, dishonour of, 98 
Daughter-in-law, bad treatment of, 
by a mother-in-law, 35 ; boon 
conferred on a, 99 ; duty of, to 
fetch water from the river-bank 
in the mornings, 151 ; afraid of 
mother-in-law, 167 
Day, the Rev. Lall Behari, author 
of Folktales of Bengal : Bengal 
Peasant Life^ foot note, on page 

Dead body to be put in a glass case 
and suspended to a tree, 94 
Death, from sheer fright, 124 ; 

cannot be averted, 134 
Decree, strange, of a king, 98 
Deception in pacheese, 145 
Decision, queer, on a woman for a 
thing lost, 43 

Degradation by being beaten with 
a shoe, 135 

Deities— The thousand-ej’ed mother, 
1 ; Pilli-ummah, 126 ; Agni and 
Varuna, 143 ; Ishwara, Kothanda- 
pany, 175 

Depredation of a melon field by 
jackals, 117 

Depressed classes, the, 114 
Derwish, a king renounces a king- 
dom and becomes a, 112 
Despotism of a king, 98 
Destiny, writer of, 70 ; cannot be 
averted, 71 ; Brahma's writing of, 
on the forehead, 88 
Devatagana, 122 ; note, page 200 
Devices, a short-man’s, to get 
jackals drowned, 120 
Dharma Shasira, breaches of, 67 
DkerSf a section of the depressed 

Dhobi’s Ghat, 54 ; note, page 186 
Direction, forbidden, 13 
Diseases, venereal, 98 ; Leucoderma, 

Disguises— of a rani as a gosain, 
33 ; of a prince as a thief, 36 
Dishonour, marks of, 108, 115 
Distance, retreating a long, in the 
twinkling of an eye, a charac- 
teristic of yie ogres, 21 
Distinguishing a human being from 
a celestial being, 87 
Dog, faithful^ 146 
Doves, referred to, 141 
Dreams, truthfulness of, 31 

Dress— Female’s : a sari and ravikay 
of white lilies, 86 ; male’s : pancha 
or dhoti ; silk-bordered dhoti, 105 ; 
jeribattalu t 84 

Drink, talks under the influence of. 

Drunkard, the attitude of a, 51 

Dung, of chakzva chakwi birds, as 
medicine, 34 

Duties, heart-rending, to be per- 
formed by an husband, 174 

Elephant, a state, covered with 
spots, an indirect result of the 
.sinfulness of women, 54 ; coronat- 
ing a king, 77-8 ; white, from 
heaven, 86, 144 
Emerald, referred to, 156 
Emotions— anger, 60; indignation, 
98, 116 ; fright, fear, 136 
Englishmen— (1) How they got the 
best boons conferred on them, 
140 ; (2) How they were deluded 
and lost their caste, 141 
Ethnology— Dhobi, 56; the shoe- 
maker’s girl, 77 

Etiquette, Indian : the offer of water 
and a wooden seat to a guest on 
arrival, 139 

Evi]-eye, 31 ; note page 184 
Evil hour averted by the wise 
precaution of a king, 173 
Evil spirits, going away from men 
to a distance of fifty yards 22 ; 
taking the form of beautiful 
women and inveigh ling men and 
causing their destruction, an 
opinion held of, 71 
Evil for good, an instance of, 

Exclamations— aiya, 55 ; amma 
aifwia, 55 ; Bhagatmaya, 76 ; 
Hari- Shiva, 76 ; note, page 186 
Executioners, kind, 25 
Expedients— sleeping underneath a 
high cot so as not to lose sight 
of a married friend, 59 ; ears 
of corn thrown on the track 
to find way back, 93 ; banquet 
given to all, man, woman, and 
child (including new-born infant) 
thereby compelling their presence 
to find out a soul whose presence 
was highly desired, 179 
Eyes, doe’s, passed off for human 
eyes, 25 ; restoration of, by 
medicinal leaves, 148 




Fable, India the home of the, v 
Fairy, The Self-sacrificing, (Story 
of) 13 ; the youngest self-sacri- 
ficing and sympathetic, the elders 
of vicious intents, 14 ; (Story 
of) the Seven Princes and the 
(Fairies), 120 ; saves life losing 
her own, 122 ; (Story of) the 
Woodseller and the Seven 
(Fairies), 130 

Faith of a simpleton rewarded, an 
instance cf, 175 

Fakeer’s Daughter and the Wicked 
Queen (Story of the), 96 
Famine, referred to, 110 
Fashions— a rattling pair of shoeS; 
56 ; vankarakurra , 105 ; note, 

page 197 

Fate, the writing of, on the forehead 
cannot be averted, 71 ; submission 
to, 83 ; belief in, 154 
Fear, shown by a psychological 
effect of easing in garment’, 136 ; 
a cat and a dog killed with the 
intent to strike, 136 
Fingers, filliping of, a sign of joy, 

Fire, origin of, in black rocks, 143 
Fireworks, referred to, 95, 133 
Flood, 41, 169 

Flowers— Ponna(Alexandrian laurel) 
[calophyllum inophyllum) , 52 ; 

the parijataka (Erythrina ful- 
geus), 157; the Mogli {Pandanus 
odoratissimus) f 168; note, page 206 
Fly, The, Who Forgot Her Name 
(Story of), 149 

Food, partaking of, before her hus- 
band took, an un wifely act, 56 ; 
note, page 187 ; the first and 
second morsels of, to be put away, 

Foot, right, placing of, on the 
doorstep, boding ill, 94 
Fop, The Old Woman and the, 
(Story of), 170 
Forbidden direction, 13 
Fowl, The Man and the Neighbour’s, 
(Story of), 169 

Fowl Curry, the Woman, and Her 
Husband (Story of), 168 
Friends, the Two (Story of), 59 
Friendship, of a carpenter’s son, a 
kotwal’s son, a minister's son and 
a king's son, 21 ; of a minister's 
son and a king's son, 59 ; with a 
policeman interdicted, 115 

Fright causing death, an instance 
of, 125 

Fruits— melon, 117 ; lemon discard- 
ed in worship, 168 
Funereal pyre, jumping into the, 41 


Games— chess, 133 ; pacheesee^ 144 
Ganesha, a factor in the disappear- 
^ ance of pearls in a temple, 42, 45 
Ganges, the river, a cleansing 
agency, 138 ; oath taken on, or on 
its water or with its water in the 
hand, binding, 139 
Garbadhdn or Garbavdsi ceremony, 
^ 40, 121, 159 

Gems, precious— rubies, 26 ; eme- 
rald, 154-6 

Gift wonderful, of a girl, 99; of the 
Zemindar’s daughter, 150 
Girl, The, of the Woodlands, Her 
Brothers and the Rakshasa (Story 
of), 93 

Girl, The, Lingaand the Wonderful 
Gift (Story of), 99 
Goat, the Monkey and the Work 
man (Story of the), 171 
God, takes the form of a dog, 39 ; 
Ganesa, 42, 44 ; Yama or Indian 
Pluto, 77 ; Brahma, 83 ; Surya- 
narayana or Sun-god, 107 ; Pillai- 
yarSwami (Ganesa), 118; Varuna, 
123 ; Agni, 123 ; confers boon, 
140; takes a bath early in the 
morning, footnote, page 141 ; sent 
a dog and a cock to find out how 
much of the world was created, 
142 ; sends an elephant to find out 
what has become of the dog and 
the cock, 142 ; sends a bull to 
make certain declarations, 143 ; 
Vishnu, 167 : Ishwara, 175 ; 
Kothandapany (Krishna), 175 
Goddess— The T h o u s a n d-e y e d 
Mother, 1 ; Saraswati, 83 ; Story 
of the King and the, 128 
Gold, salver of, 55 ; a bit of, as large 
as a hen’s egg, 127 ; image of, 

Goldsmith, the Brahmin and the 
Image of Gold (Story of the). 
152 ; cunning and crafty, 152 
Goodness pays : an ins^^ance of, 108 
Gosain, a godsend to a poor boy, 8 
Grain, massive lumps of wheat, 110 ; 

reference to, 127 ; dried gram, 172 
Gram, dried, a factor in the pre- 
servation of chastity, 172 



Ground rent, 46 

Guru, The, and the Simple-minded 
Neatherd (Story of), 175 


Habits, Indian— looking for lice in 
the head, llS 

Head shattered to one thousand 
pieces for revealing a mystery or 
secret, 61, 88 

Heat, in the system of a prince, 33 ; 
note, page 184 

Heaven, translation to, of a 
Neathered and £^uru, 175 ; transla- 
tion to, of a guru’s disciple, a 
queen and a king, 180 
Heerammah, M., the author’s wife, 
one of the narrators of a story in 
the collection, Preface, vi 
Hen, fatted, curry of, 167 
Himalaya Mountains, the, see 
Yamulgiri Parvatam,” 43; note, 
page 184 

Horse, that neighs in the night, 15 
Horse, that neighs in the middle 
of the night, 16 ; spirited, 31 ; 
referred to, 51, 56 ; black, 131 
Hospice-keeper, 144 ; see under 
Paidaraisi Peddammah ” also. 
Human sacrifice, a goddess asks 
for, 128 

Hunger, an, expedient to avoid, 73 
Husband, and his Selfish Wife 
(Story of), 80 ; kind, 79 
Huthoolummah, P,, the author’s 
sister, one of the narrators of a 
story in the collection, Preface, vi 


Illusion (mdya), 76, 100 
Illumination, referred to, 95 
Inanimate object (a wall) as a 
vahana or carrier, 100 
Incantation— formation of myriads 
of serpents and centipedes, 158 
Incense— frankincense, 28 ; bdel- 
lium, 132 
Incest, 71 

India, the home of the falble, refer- 
red to, v 

Indian Antiquary ^ a journal devoted 
to folklore^ numismatics, archeo- 
logy, geography, etc., published 
at Bombay, referred to, vii _ 
Indian cerenfonies— Garbadhan or 
Garbavasi, 40, 59, 60, 121, 159 

Indignity of people on their 
daughters’ dishonourment, 98 
Indra, court of, referred to, 142 
Injunction, a father’s on his son, 

Insects— ants, 35 ; mosquito, 75 ; 
lice, 118; centipedes, pis /lOO, 
(fiea), 176 ; bugs, 176 
Interpretation of things being always 
two, one a good one, and the other 
a bad one. a story illustrating 
the world’s, 111 
Intimidation, 99 
Ishwara, 167, 175 

Isolation, a remedy for the preserva- 
tion of woman’s virtue, refuted, 


Jackals, The Melon-Planter and the 
(Story of), 117 

Jangamaya or Jaugama— A Linga- 
yath or Shaivite beggar, 53 ; note, 
page 185 

Jatakas — Buddhist birth-stories, 

referred to, Preface, v 
Jholai-^K bag hung to the 
shoulder of the /angama, 53; note, 
page 185 

Joke, cutting a, a cause of death, 


Kabeerdass, (Story of), and Kali- 
dass, 100 ; ass, a carrier {vahana) 
of, 100 

Kaikeyi, the wily wife of King 
Dasaratha, referred to, 106 ; note, 
page 206 

Kalidass, (the Shakespeare of India) 
(Story of), 67 ; (Story of), and 
kabeerdass, 100 

Kalikadevi or Kali grants a boon 
or confers a gift, 61, 68 
Kashi (Benares or Varanashi), the 
sacred city of the Hindus, referred 
to, 138 

Kashmir, Kasyapabumi ^ the sweet 
vale, referred to, 43 
Kashyapa, the Land of (Kashmir) 
referred to, 43 

Keer, a sweet Indian dish, 96 
King, uncharitable, 19 ; makes a 
servant-maid his queen, 20 • 
uxorious and ungrateful, 40 ; 
the State Elephant, the, and the 
Chaste Laundress (Story of), 54 ; 
repentance of a, for incest^ 72 ; 



the sensuous, 98 ; promise of, not 
to be sensuous as in the first part 
of his life, 99 ; the, and the 
Three Old Men (Story of), 109 ; 
the, and the Shepherd (Story of), 

111 ; the, and the Dervish, (Story 
of), 112 ; renounces a kingdom, 

112 ; more than a match for the 
barber, 113 ; the, and the Selfish 
Barber (Story of), 127 ; the, and 
The Resourceful Chaste Woman, 
172 ; the, the Queen and the 
Evil Hour (Story of), 172 

King’s son’s friendship with the 
minister’s son, 59 

Kingdom, promise of half a, to a 
Pativrata, 54 ; worth a trifle, 112 
Knowledge, the 64 Departments of 
(Chatushastakala), referred to, 6 
Kothandapani (Krishna, the God), 

Kubera, the God of Wealth, 108 

Lady, The Sensible, and the Foolish 
Mendicant (Story of), 64 
Lame Man and the Blind Man (Story 
of), 169 

Lamps, the waving of, 54 ; see note 
under arti^ page 185 
Language, the, of birds, referred to, 
33 ; of beasts, referred to, 37 ; the 
difficult nature of the Turanian, 
and its interdiction in the king’s 
patashalas 64 

Lanka, burning of, referred to, 
104 ; or pyrotechnic display, 133 ; 
note, page 204 

Learning, the gift of, to Kalidass by 
the goddess Kali, 68 
Leaves, medicinal, for restoration 
of sight, 144 [Bel (sgleniarmelos) 
Legerdemain, feats of, referred to 

Lendrum, the Rev. John, of the 
F. C. Mission, Professor of Philo- 
sophy, Hislop College, Nagpore, 
C. P., referred to. v 
Leuooderraa, The Family and the 
(Story of), 170 

Levdees^ An Indian sweetmeat, 130 ; 
note, page 203 

Lice, looking, for, in a woman’s 
head, a habit, 115 

Life is dear : how a lame man and a 
bligd man saved their lives during 
a flood, 170 

Life-tokens in a parrot, 29 ; in a 
carcanet of jewels, 97 

Life, resuscitation of, 95, 147 ; dura- 
tion of, in the case of children 
attributable to debt they owe 
their parents in their past life, 
174 ; general note, page 208 
Lilliputian, the, and His Field 
(Story of), 141 

Lily plant grown on a s n a k e’s 
remains, 3 

Lime discarded in worship for play- 
ing the role of a liar, 168 
Linga, the phallic, 99 
Linguist, the Learned (Story of), 63 
Lives,. the ingenuity of a lame man 
and a blind man to save their, 
(The Story of the Lame Man and 
the Blind Man), 170 
Longevity, instances of, 110, 111 
Loss to be recompensed in a shame- 
ful manner, a queen’s queer idea, 

Lover, an irate, 116 
Loyalty, strange, of a robber, 70 
LuddoOy an Indian sweetmeat, 130 ; 
note, page 203 

Lying, the result of— Brahma not to 
have temples, the Mogli flower 
and lime to be discarded in 
worship, 168 


Mahdbharata^ referred to, 104 
Mahesh, one of the Adimoorthoo- 
loos^ 167 ; takes the form of a 
bandicoot, 167 

Magic feathers, 28 ; -sword, 85 ; 
-katika or collyrium, 85 ; -hair, 
132 ; -pebbles, 145 ; -rattans, 

Maid-servant, saves a kingdom 
(indirectly) from being invaded, 
20 ; becomes a queen for her 
charity, 21 ; a far seeing, 158 
Makeshift — Avoiding a day’s irregu- 
larity in meals, 113 
Mdldkara, a kind Samaritan, 41 ; 
duties of a, 41 

Man, contempt of, by a woman, 7 ; 
the, and the neighbours fowl, 169 ; 
the, and the Snake (Story of), 124 
Marriage, strange objections to, 17 ; 
second •time, 41 ; arranging of, 
being the duty of a teacher or 
pundit, 67 ; Gandharwa, 121 ; 
note, page 200 [marriage customs] 
-rice-oath on the day of, 54; note, 
page 155 ; a shoemaker to bring a 
pair of shoes for ^the bride and 
bridegroom on the day*of , 173 



Marks of dishonour, 108 
Marvadis (Jains?), The Legend of 
the Nanga Dev or the God of, 74 ; 
the Marwadi, His Wife and Gay 
Lothaire (Story of), 91 
Massage- treatment, referred to, 127 
Mdia, the goddess of small-pox, 1 
Maya or illusion, referred to, 100 
Meal, man to have a weekly, 
reversed [Story of God and the 
Bull], 143 

Medicine, dung of Chakwa-Chakwi 
birds, for reducing heat in the 
system, 33 ; taking, for getting 
off-spring, 134 ; dried tamarinds 
dipped in castor oil as purgative, 

Meditations for thirty-six years, 72-3 
Mehtars^ a section of the Depressed 
Classes, 141 

Melons, 117 ; The Planter of, and 
the Jackals (Story of), 117 
Men, grow by years, but princes 
grow by days, (proverb) 23 ; the 
King and the Three Old (Story 
of), 109 

Mendicant, The F'oolish, and the 
Sensible Lady (Story of), 64 
Mendicant, The Foolish, 64 
Mental labour and physical labour : 
a comparison made as to which is 
greater, 89 

Merchant, an honest and obliging, 

Meru, the mountain, referred to, 21 
Metal — gold, a bit of (as large as a 
hen’s egg), 127 ; gold image, 152 
Metamorphoses, 85 
Milkman, the, and the Ramayana, 
(Story of), 125 ; a Simpleton, 125 
Minister, the able, and the Ungrate- 
ful King (Story of), 9 
Minister's son, friendship of the, 
with the king’s son, 59 ; wife of 
the, a chaste lady, 60 
Miracle— Bells in a temple ringing 
of themselves simultaneously, 179 
Mogli flower Pandanus Odoratissi- 
mus discarded in worship, 168 
Mohwa tree {Bassia lati folia), 51 
Monkey, 52; Goat and the Workman 
(Story of), 71 ; tricky, 171 
Morsels of food, the first and second, 
to be put away, 171 
Mosquito’s laughter or the very 
buzz it maizes in the ear, 75 
Mother, the Thousand-Eyed (god- 
dess of small -pox), 1 ; old. not 
forgotten afld does not drop out 
from the story, 133 


Mother-in-law, cruel treatment of a 
daughter^in-law by the, 35-6 ; 
outwitted, 81 ; and the Son-in- 
Law (Story of), 81 
Mountain, Meru, (probably the 
Himalaya mountain is meant), 

Murder, a man’s resourcefulness 
to avoid suspicion of, 116 
Mushroom, the Origin of (Story of) , 
167 ; why tastes like flesh or fowl 
explained, 167 


Nagnadi or the serpentine river 
after which Nagpore takes its 
name, referred to, viii 

Nagpore, the classic capital of 
the Bhonsla kings and the present 
capital of the Central Provinces, 
referred to, v 

Naiwedhya or food offered to the 
gods, 19 * 

Names (of Indians)— Lakshmaya, 
Butchaya, Chittaya, Kautaya, 
Varadhaya, Mamaya, Pothaya, 

Narayanammah, M., the author’s 
mother-in-law, one of the narra- 
tors of stories in the collection, 
referred to, v 

Natural scenery, referred to, 14 

Nautches, an Indian dancing and 
singing entertainment, referred 
to, 95 

Navlipitta, peacock {Pavo cresta- 
fus), 125 ; note, page 201 

Nitishastra (the Ethical Code), 
referred to, 67 ; to keep fifty paces 
a\^ay from an elephant, a precept 
in, 77 

Nosebiting, a cripple’s revenge on 
a princess, 60 

Nuptial ceremony, 40, 59, 60 


Oath— Taking water in the hand, a 
ratification of an, 139 

Oblation of food offered to the gods 
Naiwedhya, 119 

Offspring, the practising of auster- 
ities and taking medicines for 
obtaining, 134 

Ogress, retreats a long distance in 
the twinkling of an eye, 21 ; 
divines human thought, 23 - 



becomes wife to a king. 24 ; steals 
a princess, 31 ; punishment to, 
for imposition, 31 ; an, person- 
ating a beautiful young woman, 
121 ; a prince gives battle to an, 
145 ; pleased with him gives her 
adopted daughter in marriage, 

Old man, a good, 85 
Old men, The Three, and the King, 

Old woman, walking of an, and 
that of a fop contrasted, 170 
Ornaments— JoomMloo (g o 1 d), 
Todaloo (silver), referred to, 126 ; 
Chevvdku or ear- leaf (a bit of 
rolled palm-leaf), 180; note, page 


PacheesCy an Indian game, 144 
Paidaraloo or Paidaraisi Ped- 
dhan^ma, 144, 163 

Palace of glass : a contrivance to be 
safe from tigers, 134 
Palmyra tree, the, 76 
Pandit, one of the duties of a, is to 
arrange for marriages, 67 ; aspires 
to the hand of one whom he 
taught, a breach of Dharma- 
shastra, 67 
Panther, 53 

Pdj'ijdtd {Erythrina fulgens), 157 ; 

note, page 205 
Paris (fairies), 97 

Parrot, as a life-token, 29 ; advice 
of a, 156 

Parwatidevi, the consort of Para- 
meshwar, 73 

Pativrata. offer of a kingdom to a, 
54, 147 ; note, page 185 
Peacock, vide Navlipittay 125 ; 
note, page 201 

Pearl, in the belly of a fish, 9 ; 
non-production of, to suffer the 
extreme penalty of the law, 11 
Pearls, the stringing of, 42, 48 ; a 
garland of, 83 

Pearl Merchant (Story of the), 46 
Penalty, to suffer the extreme, of 
the law, for non-production of a 
thing, 11 
Penances, 72 

Penurious Man, the Ill-fated (Story 
of), 75 

Persecution by a step-mother, 2 ; of 
a sister-in-law, 165 
Phenomena, a Rajahansa emerges 
out of water as a girl, 139 

Piglipitta (the Madras bulbul), the 
Navlipitta and, (Story of), 123; 
note, page 201 

Pillayar Swami (Ganesa), 118 
Pilli-ummah, a local deity (Grama 
devata), 126 

Pilpai (Bidpai), the fable writer, 
referred to, v 
Pipal tree, the, 85 

Pishoo, the, and the Bug, (Story of), 

Pitambar, a valuable 55, note, 
page 186 

Pleasiire, (carnal) indulgence in, 
sparingly, leads to longevity, 

Pleasures, the eight, 99 ; note, page 

Poetry, recitation of original : a 
reward of a princess* hand 
for, 7 . 

Police official, friendship with a, 
interdicted, 115 

Ponna flowers, Alexandrian laurel 
Calophylliim inophyllumy 52 
Prayer for speech, 27 ; prayer for 
preservation of chastity, 43 
Prediction of astrologers fulfilled, 

Presents from outsiders to be 
accepted by a wife after due per- 
mission from husband, 56 
Prevarication, a prince’s, and com- 
mitting mischief for no good, 154 
Price, fabulous, for a fish, 155 
Pride, the five iron pegs to arrest, 

Prince, traowsformed into a snake 
and vice versa y 6 ; with a horse- 
covering, 32 ; in the disguise of a 
thief, 37 ; as water-carrier in a 
courtesan’s garden, 144 ; the. 
Medicinal Leaves and the Muhurta 
(Story of), 144 ; high daring of a, 

Princes, the vSeven, and the Fairies 
(Story of), 120 

Princess, resolution of a, to wed the 
man who composes original 
verses, 7 ; commits suicide, . 7 ; 
married to a horse, 32 ; resolution 
of a, to wed the man who would 
do her bidding under the most 
trying circumstances, 173 
Proclamation of a, princess to 
marry one who composes original 
verses, 7 ; proclamation of a king 
to offer half of his Jcingdom to a 
Pativratay 54 ; proclamation of a 
princess to marry one who does 



her bidding under the most trying 
circumstances, 173 
Promises, solemn, to give children 
in marriage 82 ; dathams not to be 
violated, 107 ; note, page 197 
Prophecy, the king’s son, and the 
fulfilment of a, 134. 

Prostitute, the, boisterous, 79 ; 'L'he 
Brahmin, the Oilman and the 
(Story of), 103 ; tricky and faithful, 
144, 147 

Prostration at feet, 30, 3fi 
Proverbs— (1) Men grow by years 
but princes grow by days, 23 ; 
(2) Boodhdhi voonnavddiki yed- 
dhtUaidhu, Ycddhu voonnavddiki 
booddhilaidhu ^ 69; (3) Goontd pilla 
yentd kadupn, 174 ; note, page 

Public insult, shaving of the head 
as a, 42 ; branding as a, 114 
Punishment, for the non -production 
of a thing, 11 ; for imposition, 33 ; 
of mange, 38 ; shaving of the 
head of a woman and placing a 
lamp on the head, as if it is a lamp- 
stand, being forms of, 42 ; head 
shattered to pieces, a, 61 ; for 
having lusteth after a woman, G4 ; 
beating with cheepoorloo and 
chdtaloo, and looking down upon, 
a, 79 

Pyrotechnic display (Lanka), 95 ; 
Tarajole or Taramandal ^ Sursur- 
butteeSf tnahtabs (red, green and 
white lights), Chhichbo odloo 
(flower-pots), Nagmodis (Pha- 
roah ’ s serpents) , Catherine 
wheels, Roman candles, rockets, 
little balloons and quibs, 133 ; 
note, page 204 


Qualification of thieves, 37 ; qualifi- 
cation of a barber, 90 
Queen, inhumane treatment by 
a, 42-3 : The Fakeer’s Daughter 
and the Wicked, (Story of), 96 ; 
the jealousy of a, 96 ; pays the 
extreme penalty of the law for her 
crime, 96-8; the King, the, and 
the Evil Hour (Story of), 172 the, 
Queen, the chief, ordered to be 
beheaded on a false charge of 
subsisting on beasts, 25 
Queer deciiion, 43 
Quest, "in, of an emerald, 156 ; in, 
of a Pdrijdia flower, 157 


Racial qualities not deficient in a 
princess brought up by a rdksha- 
sha, 123 

Rakshasha, The Girl of the Wood- 
lands, Her Brothers and the 
jStory of), 93 

Rakshasha gana or class opposed to 
Devata gana, 122 ; note, page 200 
Ramagiri, the present Ramtek, a 
place of pilgrimage twenty miles 
from Nagpore, C. P., referred 
to, V 

Ramayana, the epic story referred 
to, 104 ; reference to certain cantos 
of, 104 ; the Milkman and the, 
(Story of) 125 

Rambha, a dancer at the court of 
Indra, 83 

Ramtek, the old Ramagiri or Ram- 
tinci taken note of in Meghadutha, 
referred to, v 

Rasaloo, Raja, the Punjaub hero 
identified with Baki Bulamoodoo 
of Telugu stories, vi 
Rat, the nuisance of, 69 ; a factor 
for a prince to win a game in 
Pacheese, 145 

Recluse, the True (Story of), 72 
Recognition after twelve years, a 
qualification, 37 

Renunciation, a king’s, of 
kingdom, 112 ; a princess', of the 
world, 175 

Reptiles— Scorpions, serpents, and 
centipedes, 146 

Responsibility of a kingdom, saddl- 
. ing with the, a panacea for 
checking the adventurous spirit 
of a prince, 165 
Resuscitation of life, 95, 147 
Retreating a tolerably long distance 
in the twinkling of an eye, a 
characteristic of the ogress, 21 
Rhymes, cumulative, 149 
Rice., uncooked or husked in charity, 
103 ; doles of, 107 ; note, page 

Rice-oath on the Hindu wedding 
day, 54 ; note, page 185 
Kx^dlQs^Kuthalunni yatha Idyai, 

Riding, a fop’s and an old woman’s 
walk, contrtisted, 170 
Ring as a recognizing agency | 34 
Robbers, qualifications of, 37 ; 
loyalty of, 70 

Robes, saffron, 134 ; note, page 204 




Sacrifice, self-, of a fairy, 14 ; 
human, 128-9 ; why only animal 
is now offered as, 130 
Sadabarth, 26 ; note, page 183 
Sadhu, The Bhagatmaya (Story of), 

Sage, the, and, the Would-be Mother 
(Story of) , 62 

Sandalwood, 48 ; tree, 93, 97 
Sani—'TYie God of Ill-luck (Saturn), 

Saraswati^Ttiii Goddess of Learn- 
ing, referred to, 83 

woman’s dress, 108 ; pulling 
aside of, a mark of dishonour, 

Sdth&nees, 176 ; note, page 209 
Sati ceremonies, 41 
Scorpion, 146 

Secret not to be revealed, 85, 88, 

Sect, Ramanuja, referred to, 176 ; 

note, under ‘ Sathanees\ page 209 
Secunderabad, the military station 
in the Deccan, referred to, v 
Serpents, 146 ; vide snakes 3, 5, 124 
Servants, faithless, 163 
Servant-maid becomes a queen, 20 
Shakespeare of India (Kalidass), 
Telugu version of the story of the, 

Shepherd, The King and the (Story 
of), 111 

Shoes, a rattling pair of, wearing 
of, a fashion, 52 

Shoemaker’s girl, becomes the wife 
of a Sadhu and queen, her son 
a Vizier, 79 

Simpleton, gollavddu (milkman) a, 
123 ; the neatherd a, 175 
Sinfulness of women, a State ele- 
phant covered over with spots, 
an indirect result of the, 54 
Sister, ardent love of a, for her 
brother, 5 

Sister-in-law, persecution of a, 165 
Sleeping underneath a high cot, an 
expedient, 59 
Slings, reference to, 26 
Snake, a lily plant grows on the 
remains of a, 3 ; a, re-transformed 
into a prince, 5 ; the Man and 
the (Story of), 124r; the number 
and varieties of Indian snakes 
referred to, 124 
Sobanam ceremony, 40 
Society, low state of, 43 

Son-in-law a, outwits his mother-in- 
law, 81 

Songs, dulcet, of parentaloo in 
chorus (bridal songs), 160 
Soul, hanging to a tree, 94 ; passing 
of the, 94, 151 ; of a sympathetic 
fairy (princesfi) speaks, 121 ; hovers 
about the house-eaves, 151 
Speech, prayer to God for, 27 
Spots, elephant covered over with, 

, an indication that the sinfulness 
of women is rampant, 54 
States, Native, referred to, 105 
Stipulation— of a princess that she 
would confer her hand on one 
who composes original verses, 
35 ; of a rich man's daughter 
to marry the man who receives 
five smacks, with a shoe every 
da 5 ', 135 : of a courtesan to 
become the wife of one who wins 
her in pacheesee, 144 ; of a 
princess who would do her bid- 
ding under the most trying 
circumstances, 173 ; of a minis- 
ter’s daughter to leave her father- 
in-law’s house at 6 p.m. and 
return at 6 a.m., 184 
Story, the end of a— the narrators 
getting of a present in imagina- 
tion, 95, 165 ; reference to ex- 
ternal circumstances at the end of 
a, 203 

Stories, the migration or travel of, 
without being lost and their 
becoming suited to the mode of 
thought of the alien people to 
which they have travelled or 
migrated, vi 

Stratagem, of an old woman to 
avoid suspicion or detection, 58 ; 
of subjects to avoid dishonour of 
their daughters, 98 ; of a woman 
to preserve her chastity, 172 
Submission, abject— falling at feet, 

Suicide, a crow commits, 114 
Superiority, a discussion between 
Agni and Varuna with reference 
to, 143 

Superstition— What is asked must 
. be parted with or else it would be 
lost or destroyed, 31 
Sutwi (Destiny-writer), 70 
Sweetmeat Indian— 130 ; 

luddoos^ 131 ; note, page 203 
S-wynnerton’s Indian Nights Enter- 
tainments, referred tq, viii 
Sympathy, extreme, of la fairy, 



Tsiboo-^Mogli flower and lime dis- 
carded in worship, 168 
Tahsildarsi small revenue officer 
of a sub-district (tahsili), referred 
to, 151 

Tailor, proverbs ot—Buddhi vun- 
nadi yeddhu laidhu 6fl 
Taming, of the Blue-Stocking 
(Story of the), 6 ; of a wife, 136-7 
Tasks, 35 

Teacher, aspiring to the hand of a 
scholar he taught ; a breach of 
Dharmashastra, 67 ; one of the 
duties of a, is to arrange 
marriages of parties, 67 
Temple, Sir Richard Carnac, 
Editor of the Indian Antiquary, 
referred to, viii 

Test for catching a thief (The 
Man and the Neighbour’s Fowl), 

Theft of a prince from the nursery 
of a palace, 123 
Ticks— lice, 1 

Tiger, 53 ; and the Ass (Story of 
the), 160 

Time, a computation of, by God 
and man explained, 80 
Tit for tat or payment in one’s coin 
illustrated, 108 

Torri gavva [Cypra vioneta), 106 ; 
note, page 196 

Trades— 41 ; shoemaker, 
77-; prostitute, 79 ; bangleseller, 
95 ; woman juggler, 178 
Transformation, into a snake and 
vice versa, 3, 6 ; man into a bird, 
28 ; man into a fly, 85 ; deer into 
a kanyaka, 120 ; woman into a 
paddy sheaf, 157 

Translation to heaven, of a neatherd 
and a guru 175 ; of a queen and 
others, 180 

Treatment, inhumane, 42, 43 
Trees— Mohwa {Bassia latifolia), 
51 ; palmyra, 76 ; sandalwood, 
93, 97 ; Ber (the Indian jujube), 
115 ; Khadira (Acacia catechu), 
125 ; note, page 201 
Trick, shabby, to get rid of doves, 

Truthf ulnessi of a dream, 31 
Turban, throwing of, on the 
ground, a sign of extreme disgust 
and disconlent, 14 ; coming to 
the grcyund, a dishonour, 115 ; 
laced, referred to, 170 


Unchaste woman, the, 116 
Understanding of matters by the 
world different, one man under- 
standing one thing, another, 
another thing, 111 
Unwifely act— partaking of food 
before her husband partook an, 56 


Vadavanala, a mythological person, 
vide note, page 184 
Vaisakh, the hottest month of the 
Hindu year corresponding to 
the English month of May, 
referred to, 105 

Vanina, Agni and (Story of), 143 
Venereal diseases, a king’s suffering 
from, referred to, 98 
Vishnu, one of the Adimoorthooloo 
(primal Gods) in the form of a 
boar, 167 

Vishnu Sharma, the author of 
Fanchatantra, referred to, Pre- 
face, V 

Visions— a pile of cakes shields a 
king, 20 ; a Rajahansa swan 
emerges from water as a girl, 139 
Vows— of a minister’s son’s wife to 
sacrifice an arm, 61; of a king 
not to be sensuous as in the first 
part of his life, 99 


Wager, filling a tank with rubies, 
filling a tank with pearls, 26 ; 
with reference to fish, 156 

Walking of an old woman and 
riding of a fop contrasted, 170 

Washerman, a satisfied, who ate 
food pleasant to the taste and 
wore clothing pleasant to the 
eye, 151 

Washerwoman, chaste, 55; a 
Brahmin in love with a, 138 ; 
note, page 185 

Watch by turns during nights for 
safety, 21 

Water, offering of, to wash hands 
and feet with : an Hindu etiquette 
to one who comes to a house, 

Weaver, the Deceitful (Story of), 



What is asked must be parted with 
as otherwise it would be lost or 
destroyed : a superstition, 31 • 
note, page 184 

Wheat, ears of, thrown along the 
track, an expedient to find way 
back, 93 ; massive lumps of, 110 

White elephant from heaven 86 

Wife, love of, centred on the hus« 
band after the birth of the first 
born, 5 ; faithful, 33 ; as torch- 
bearer, 36 ; treacherous and 
false, 62 ; discarding of, by 
Kalidass on consideration of her 
having become a mother because 
of the gift of learning had come 
to him through her device, 68 ; 
selfish, 80; strange conditions of a 
would be, 85, 135, 174 ; unchaste, 
116 ; cenotaph with inscription 
thereon to a devoted, 123-24 ; 
taming of a, 135-7 ; the youngest, 
of the prince the best, brave and 
kind, 148 ; influence of, to make 
her husband a party to her guilt, 

Wife-beating with a tamarind shoot, 

Wine, the origin of, vide The Story 
of the Brahmin, the Tiger and 
the Ass, 49 

Wives, duality of, a nuisance, 127 

Woman, pertinacity, the nature of, 
33, 83 ; to serve as a lamp-stand, 
42 ; to become a mistress for a 
thing lost, 43 ; the old, of the 
sugar cane fields (Story of) , 45 ; 
sinfulness of, 54 ; deceived by 
false persuasion, referred to, 54 ; 
unchaste, 116 ; bemoaning of, to 
have been born a tree, 122 ; 

chaste, faithful, resuscitates hef 
husband, 144 ; cajoling tricks of, 
referred to, 160 ; the Old, and 
the Fop, Story of, 170 ; stratagem 
of a, to preserve her chastity, 172 
Women’s garment— jarz, reference 
to, 108 

Wonder and surprise, finger placed 
on the nose, an expression of, 150 
Woodseller, the, and the Seven 
Faires (Story of), 130 
Words, mysterious, the potency of, 

Workman, the Monkey, the Goat, 
and the (Story of), 171 


Yama, the Indian Pluto, referred 
to, 77 

Yamulgiri Farvatam (Himalaya 
mountains), 43 ; note, page 184 

Young Man, the Police Official and 
the B^r Tree, Story of the, 115 ; 
the, and Hazari Lai of Baidars’ 
Daughter, (Story of), 135 

Younger sister, the sisters grudge 
against their, 52 

Youngest daughter-in-law, the 
possessor of a wonderful gift that 
of knowing the passing of souls 
of men, 150 

Youngest sister-in-law of a prince 
always kind to her sister-in-law 
(her husband’s sister), 165 


Zone, danger— fifty paces from the 
elephant, a, to be avoided, 77 


Life of M. Nagloo. (Maidara Nagaya) The Father of Hotel 
Enterprise in the Central Provinces, pp. 3 -h 200, G. Kushal- 
doss. Printers, Hyderabad, Deccan, 1908. 100 copies (47 lost in 
the Moosi flood). 

The Story of Bobbili [as handed down traditionally through 
ministrels] . With a foreword by Prof. Jadunath Sarkar, M.A. 
(Premchand Roychand Student) of the Patna College, pp. xxxv 
+ 128, Cheekoti Veerannah & Sons, Government Printers, 
Secunderabad, Deccan 1912. 100 copies (lost). 

Tulsemmah and Nagaya ; or Folk-stories from India. With a 
foreword by Prof. James Bremner, M.A. of the Hislop College, 
Nagpur, C.P., pp. xix -h 167, Methodist Publishing House, 
Madras, 1918, 125 copies (burnt). 



Bengal Government Camp 

2nd July, 1908. 

My Dear Sir, 

I desire to thank you for your courtesy in sending me a 
copy of the Life of your Father. It could not fail to recall many 
news and scenes of much interest to me. 

I am. 

Yours truly, 





‘ Glenham House,* 
Saxemundham, Suffolk, 

July, 1908, 

Dear Sir, 

I must thank you very much for the copy of your father’s 
life that you have sent me. I shall read it with the greatest 
interest for I knew him before he had the hotel at the Nagpur 
Railway Station and took charge of the first Nagpur Club. I 
knew him as the ever-ready handy man, always willing and 
capable of helping in any entertainment that might be started. 
My interest in the book is all the greater in that I was intimately 
connected with Nagpur and the Central Provinces from 1864 to 
1891. Even before that my Regiment, the Royal Scots (then 
Royal Regiment), was stationed at Kamptee. 

A history of the Central Provinces from the time Mr. Temple 
became Chief Commissioner is much wanted. 

Valuable information could be collected from the few old 
inhabitants in all districts that remember that time. Copies of 
the contemporary local newspapers contain much of interest. 
You are evidently just the man to write it. 

Thanking you again, 

I am. 

Yours sincerely, 


' School House,’ 
Burghead, Scotland, 


31st August, 1908. 

•'The Retreat,’ Hyderabad, 


My Dear Sir, 

It was with the greatest pleasure that I received to-day your 
Life of M, Nagloo, chiefly on account of old association with you 
yourself when both of us were young. It was very good of you 
to remember me and to show that you remember me by honour- 
ing me with this product of your pen. 



I had not the advantage of your father’s acquaintance though 
I knew him full well by sight and passed by his hotel every day 
to and from my work. Strange to say, your father is the only 
native of India whose name I had mentioned to me casually by 
a stranger here after my return to this country. You may 
remember, perhaps, that a photograph of the Hislop College 
students was taken in your time— I think it was the Morris College 
—a photograph containing the Rev. Cooper ; you yourself are 
standing at one side. Well, after my return to Scotland, I was 
showing this photo to a gentleman, whose name I forget, a 
stranger to me, when he said quietly, * Nagpur, you have been 
there, have you ? Do you know Nagloo ? ’ I said : ‘ Yes. I 
know who Nagloo is ; he keeps the station hotel. This (said I 
pointing to your likeness) is Nagloo’ s son. The gentleman 
took up the photo and examined it with much interest. It turned 
out that this gentleman had stayed in yourJather’s hotel for 
many months or years (I cannot tell how long). He was engaged 
in superintending the erection of telegraph poles. This incident 
may interest you, and you can make what use of it you like, if 
you are reprinting the book. 

I see that you are engaged in the .service of His Highness 
the Nizam and I hope that you are healthy, comfortable, and 
happy— all of which blessings, I am thankful to say, are mine. 

1 am. 

Yours sincerely, 


South Manse, 

9 -IX- 1908, 

My Dear Venkataswami, 

I have to acknowledge with many thanks the gift of your 
book, and congratulate you on taking a place among the ranks 
of authors. It is a pity that the revision was not done more 
carefully for though you wrote English well, you could not be 
expected to attain perfection, and a little care would have made 
the book more presentable. It must have taken you a great 
deal of time and labour. You have been very frank in telling 
the story of your father’s life — perhaps too frank for English 



readers. Biit I congratulate you on the completion of what to 
you was an act of filial piety. 

Mrs. Lendrum and the four children are all well, I am glad 
to say, and though I shall never be so strong as I was before 
I went to India I am very well and manage to do a good deal 
of work. I see your old friend, Mr. James Bremner, occasion- 
ally ; he lives about eight miles from here in a small town 
called Burg head. We always talk about India when we meet. 

With kind regards and best wishes, 

I am, 

Yours very truly, 


C/o The Capital and Counties Bank, 
Great Malvern, 
September 25, 1908^ 

My Dear Sir, 

I have to thank you very much for your very kind letter of 
the 30th July and for the book which you so kindly sent me, 
and which I shall peruse in the spirit of the beautiful motto on 
the Title page which I thus interpret — Gentleness, Kindness, 
Generosity, Truthfulness, Gratitude, Harmlessness (or Consi- 
deration for Others). By such qualities as these True Nobility 
shines forth Conspicuous. 

I am at present engaged myself on an Author’s work and am 
able to appreciate all the more the loving labour you have 
devoted to the life of your much-respected Father. I hope to 
let you have my opinion on it, if it be considered worth having, 
and it will, I hope, be given in that spirit that an author owes to 
another Author’s work. 

I am in England and have been availing myself of a well- 
earned furlough (though I say it) to write a series of four 
volumes of sketches of Rulers of India, 

With kind regards, 

Believe me, 

Yours very truly, 





March^ 1911, 

Dear Mr. Nagloo, 

It was very kind of you to have given me an opportunity of 
dipping into the biography of your father. It carried me back 
to the days when I began my official life in Nagpur and put up 
at your father’s hotel. I am sure that anybody that reads it will 
find much to amuse and interest him in bis moments of leisure. 

Yours truly, 


Accountant-General’s Office, 
P. W. Branch Audit Office, 
Dated 25 May^ 1911, 

Dear Mr. Venkataswamy, 

I am very much amused to read the. Life of your worthy 
father written by you. The style is quite entertaining, and your 
story is fr£mk and reminiscent of the good old days. 

Yours sincerely, 



My Dear Sir, 

Thank you very much for so kindly sending me a copy of. 
your book {The Story of Bohbili) and also lending me the very 
interesting book which I now return. I have read it with the 
greatest interest and it gives a vivid picture of the days now 
gone by. 

Yours very truly, 


1 was away in England last or should have returned the book 



Mr. M. N. Venkataswamy, M.R.A.S., M.F.L.S., has brought 
out a neat Life of M, Nagloo (Mardara Nagaya), the Pioneer of 
Hotel Enterprise, in the Central Provinces.— The Hindu, August 
6, 1908. 

Reviews of the book in extemo have appeared in the Modern 
Review (Professor Jadunath Sarkar, m.a., Premchand Roychand 
student) and Hindustan Review (Mr. S. Z. Ali, b.a.). 


The Story of Bobbili by Mr. M. N. Venkataswamy, M.R.A.S., 
is a rendering in English of a Telugu tale as narrated to the 
writer while he was yet a boy by a wandering minstrel who had 
sought the hospital roof of his father. The main interest of the 
story is centred in the siege of Bobbili in the early part of the 
eighteenth century and the events that led to it. Rivalry 
between the rulers of Bobbili and Pooseepad, two neighbouring 
principalities, to stand high in the estimation of their Lord 
Paramount the Nizam, resulted in the cutting off water supply 
to the former. An affray consequent upon this led to open 
hostilities and Bobbili was laid siege to when the ruler was 
absent from the capital. The description of the valour with 
which the besieged held out to the very end, the courage and 
strength with which the heroes' of Bobbili fought, the utter 
annihilation of the aggressors’ forces by the ruler of Bobbili 
who came to the rescue, though at a late stage, are told in the 
characteristic style of Indian folklore, and the writer is to b€l 
congratulated of the retentive memory which has enabled him to 
reproduce what he had received in his early boyhood. The book 
contains a vivid picture of feuds and friendships between rival 
chieftains in the period prior to the advent of the British in India. 
The Folklore of Southern India has not received the attention it 
deserves, and Mr. Venkataswamy has taken a step in the right 
direction; in having chosen to tread the very rich but often- 
neglected field of study. The book opens with a frontispiece 
cefntaihihg the photographs of King George V., His Highness 
the Nizam, and the present Maharaja of Bobbili. It is printed 

dPiNtoNg oif THfi Woillfg 


by Messrs. C. Veeranria & Sons, Government Printers, Hydera- 
bad, Deccan. — The Madras Mail (Madras). 

Mr. M. N. Venkataswamy’s Story of Bohbili is a reproduc- 
tion of the story of the foundation and sack of the place as 
related to him by a wandering Telugu minstrel about forty years 
ago. The author is already known to the reading Indian world 
as the writer of a biography of his father and by means of 
his notes which he calls commentaries he has brought in 
authentic history and modern topography so as to do away 
with the cavilling of the critical historian. Every lover of the 
folklore of the Telugu country will do well to go through it. — 
The Hindu (Madras). 

Bobbili is now a well known name even outside the Madras 
Presidency as its Maha;raja was the first Indian Member of the 
Madras Executive Council. The appointment came in for 
deservedly severe criticism, but the Maharaja, during the brief 
year of his membership, is supposed to have done better than 
people had reason to anticipate. However this might be, there 
is no question that he is an excellent Zemindar who had adminis- 
tered the affairs of his State in such a manner as to make it 
prosperous as well as — and this naturally is more important— to 
bring contentment to his tenantry. Bobbili, as is well known in 
the South, had an almost romantic part ; it is of historic impor- 
tance ; its story is sung in towns and villages by the townsmen 
as well as the rustic in a highly pitched tone and Bobbili was the 
great foe of Vizianagram and the battle that was fought by them, 
the latter with the assistance of Bussy, is the subject of the 
ballad. The story was lately published in English by Messrsr 
C. Veeranna & Sons of Secunderabad. Its author is Mr. M. N. 
Venkataswami, M.R.A.S., and Professor Jadunath Sarkar has 
supplied an interest foreword.^ Professor Sarkar says: — ‘Our 
story-teller’s character-painting is done in bold, if primitive 
touthea, and^withdfitaialSc apptopriat^^ of speech. Each of 
the personages leaved his own^ peculiar impress oh otar mind; 
we feel that none of them is a shndbwy creation 6f a racked 



literary imagination or a colourless production of one type. 
Mr. Venkataswami has scrupulously preserved the old phraseo- 
logy, the crude oaths and threats, the pious ejaculations amidst 
speeches — so vividly suggestive of the dramatic narrator under 
the tamarind tree — the frequent repetitions, the quaint imagery, 
the pithy sayings which clinch a paragraph, as he heard them from 
his minstrels. These features will distinctly enhance the value 
of the story to students of Indian thought. They may repel the 
general reader ; but, if so, that lazy person will have lost a good 
treat. To one who is not deterred by the mere externals of a 
piece, 'J he Story oi Bobbili does not lack charm and pathos of 
its own, quite apart from its value as a picture of ancient 
manners. It is a very interesting ‘ human document \ The 
author himself supplies an informing preface, a summary of the 
story, and comments and glossary The Leader (Allahabad). 

The story of the foundation and sack of Bobbili in the Madras 
Presidency, as narrated to the author by a wandering Telugu 
minstrel more than forty years ago, with an historical introduc- 
tion. The story itself relates to the year 1757, and gives a vivid 
picture of the life and manners of the period. — The Athcsneum 
(London) . 

The following passage reproduced from the Foreword by 
Prof. Jadunath Sarkar, m.a., will explain the scope and character 
of the book 

‘ Mr. M. N. Venkataswami has here reproduced the story of 
the foundation and sack of Bobbili as narrated by a wandering 
ministrel more than forty years ago. In preserving this tale 
Mr. Venkataswami has done us a distinct service. The story, 
though relating to 1757, is a vivid picture of ancient manners and 
its characters truly belong to the Epic age. It is a very in- 
teresting human' document.— The Modern Review (Calcutta). 

A very interesting account of Bobbili with an Introduction 
by Prof. Jadunath Sarkar. The author shows originality in this 
work . — Modem World (Madras). 




Wesleyan Mission, 
March 10, 192S, 

Nizam ABAD, 
Hyderabad (Deccan), 


Dear Mr. Venkataswami, 

I thank yon very much for the copy of ' The Siory of Bobbili. ’ 
I think you have done a very valuable service to Indian Literature 
in your patient investig^ation and skilful presentation of the 
Story. I have not been able to read it all yet, but I have read 
some and shall carefully read it more. 

In my efforts to acquire the Telugii language and to get to 
know the Telugu people I have myself often listened to the tale 
of the wandering bard. You are perfectly right when you say 
that the villager who has few amusements will sit for hours 
listening to such tales. The wandering bard is pushed out of 
existence, as is natural, by the spread of education and the 
multiplication of literature, but the service he had rendered in 
the past should not be forgotten. I myself should like to see 
some of his stories preserved in Telugu, much of the pith and 
acquaintness of the narrator is lost even in the best translation. 

I trust you will continue your literary labours and that God's 
blessing may rest upon you and yours. 

With many thanks and kind regards, 

Believe me. 

Yours faithfully, 


Indore, C. L, 

. 5th May, 1913, 

Dear Sir, 

Thank »you for your letter. I am very sorry not to have 
acknowledged your book on Bobbili sooner. It must have been 



a great interest to you to write this history of your native place 
and I. am very pleased to have the book to which I have given 
an honourable place on my shelves. 

Yours truly, 




8 /^ Jnly^ 1913. 

My Dear Venkataswami, 

I must thank you heartily for your kindness, in sending me a 
copy of your book, The Story of Bobbili. You have, indeed, 
rendered the prophecy of non-effect. Your book shows that 
you have a keen interest not only in historic tradition, but also 
in human life. Without the latter quality, the former is apt to 
degenerate into Dry-as-Dust chronicling. I have read The Story 
of Bobbili with appreciation of the humour and gusto of the 
narrative. I only wish that the redoubtable Paiipa Rao of the 
fierce moustaches had come off a little more successful in the end. 
The doughty deeds of the Bobbilians recalled to my memory 
the Homeric blows of Diomede and Ajax ; their appetites too 
were as good as that of Polyphemus. 

You never thought of writing a book in your own native 
language, I suppose. I understand quite well that the fit 
audience is among those who understand English. At the same 
time I have little doubt that the true literature of India (modern 
I mean) will be not an English but a vernacular literature. 
Some one who will take infinite pains to turn beautiful phrases 
and express living and frequent thought in the real language 
of the people will create a public for himself. Russian literature 
to-day is considered by some the most vital in Europe. Well, 
it is not more than fifty or sixty years since the writers of Rus- 
sia began to use their own language. They wr®te French 
before, but with no power. Since they used their own language, 

. they produced masterpieces, so that foreigners now learn Russian 
tp pet at them. The same is true of German literature, only 



that it is a century older than Russian ; in the eighteenth century 
German writers despised their vernacular, they wrote in French, 
but again to little purpose. But it needed a genius to take the 
first step — a Tolstoi in Russia, a Goethe in Germany, a Dante 
in Italy, a Venkataswami in India ? 

With kindest regards, 

I am, Vours, 

78, Rajpur Road, 

16th January^ 1914. 

Dear Mr. Venkataswami, 

I have been unusually long in replying to your letter of the 
28th ultimo for which I must beg your pardon . . . Your ‘ The 
Story of Bobbin ’ was delightful reading. Being an ignoramus 
in antiquarian topics, I cannot give an opinion about the merits 
of the book from that point of view. 



Private Secretary, 


Madras Governor's Camp, 

9th August^ 1915. 

Referring to your letter of 7th July 1915, I am desired by 
His Excellency Lord Pentland to inform you that your book 
‘ The Story of Bobbin \ is very interesting. 


Yours truly, 




M-R-Ry. M. N- VENKATASWAMI, Avt., M.R.A.S., 

Tun Rbtrsat, 

Hyderabad (Deccan). 

South Manse, Elgin, 

7ih September, 1915, 

My Dear Vei^rataswami, 

It is Yefy careless ol me to be so long in acknowledging 
your kindness in writing to me and sending me a copy of your 
latest book. I have to congratulate you on the good bit of 
work you have done. It is a pity that the list of ‘ Errata ’ should 
be so long, but very careful reading is needed to prevent such 
blemishes. Before you publish next time, you might get some 
one to read the proofs for you. It is a tedious business, but 
some interested friend would do it for you. The story itself 
I am scarcely fit to criticize. It was certainly worth preserving 
and in these days of war it takes on a new interest. Some of us. 
thought the days of war were wearing over, but we were 
Yrtong, and war is to-day almost the only thing we can think of 
♦ # # 

With all good wishes, 

I am, yours very truly, 

Wesleyan Mission House, 
No. 1718 Secunderabad, 


November 16 th 1915. 

Dear Mr. Venkataswami, 

It is so long since I read The Story of Bobbili that I have not 
a very clear remembrance of the impression it made on me. 
So far as I do recollect, however, it was a story of great interest 
and well worth telling. I only wish that others who have a 
command of Telugu and are interested in the past story of their 
would do as good a bit of work. 

With congratulations and kind regards. 

Believe me. 

Yours sincerely, 






27^A February, 1916, 

Dear Mr. Venkataswami, 

Many thanks for your having kindly given me a copy of 
‘ The Story of Bohbili\ I was very much impressed by your 
industry in devoting yourself to historical and literary pursuits 
notwithstanding the busy time you must have in office. I have 
read many portions of the book with great interest, I hope you 
will get sufficient encouragement especially from a rich and 
enlightened nobleman like the Maharaja of Bobbili for the way 
in which you have told the story of his State. 

Yours sincerely, 


Judge's House, 


31 si March, 1917. 

Dear Mr. Venkataswami, 

I acknowledged your book The Story of Bobbili shortly after 
its receipt in England. But my letter seems to have gone 
astray. * * * I am afraid I cannot s?iy more about the book 

than that it amused and interested me at the time. 

Yours very truly, 


Rev. P. T. SHIPHAM, 

Wesleyan High School, 

Secunderabad (DECCAN). 

Present Address : 


London, E.C., 

January 23rd, 1921. 


' ‘ ..i. . . 

Dear Mr. 

I neturniog ypttr book by this mail, ucidier a separate 
cover. *I trust it will reach you safely. I have found it very 



interesting and must congratulate you on achieving your ends so 
successfully. I have not tampered with it : it would have been 
presumption on my part to have attempted to amend your style. 
There are, 'of [course, frequent printer’s errors, and it is a shame 
that your printer should have been guilty of so many. You 
seem to have noted those that matter. 

It is a very interesting story, written in a style that breathes 
of the original, and^I^sincerely hope that your efforts with it will 
meet with highest success. 

* * * * * * 

Believe me. 

Yours very sincerely, 


The folktales of every country, which are handed down from 
generation to generation by word of mouth, oftentimes give an 
astonishing insight into the habits, manners and customs of 
by-gone times, though they may strike the superficial and 
unobservant reader only as a bundle of primitive ideas and 
superstitions. It is on this account that the collection of folk- 
tales has occupied the attention of several diligent students of 
anthropology, and has always been welcomed. Mr. M. N. 
Venkataswamy, of Hyderabad, Deccan, has collected a few of 
such Indian stories into a book of nearly 120 pages (Methodist 
Publishing House, Madras). Mr. J. Bremner, Professor, Hislop 
College, Nagpur, has written a short foreword to the work in 
which he pays a compliment to the author’s ability in story- 
telling. — The Madras Mail, August 30, 1918. 

Mr. Venkataswami has already written several books on 
Indian subjects, but he has never written so interesting as this 
his latest volume. Somewhere or other he has ^collected a 
.remarkable^ number of folkstories that might with advantage be 


made available for English children. The best in our opinion 
is the first. It tells how a certain Indian queen incurred the 
anger of the king by always presenting him with sons when 
he wanted a daughter. At last she did give birth to a daughter, 
but her sons, fearing their father’s anger if another son was 
born, had already fled into the forest. Their mother killed 
herself with grief and the king married again a lady who 
persecuted the baby -daughter. When the latter grew up she 
ran into the woods and looked for her brothers. She found 
them and lived happily with them until a wicked rakshashi 
turned them into wild beasts. Then the princess married a 
raja, but the rakshashi pursued her and turned her into a bird 
and passed herself off as the king’s wife. However, all came 
right in the end. The princess and her brothers recovered 
their former shapes. The raja killed the rakshashi and had 
her body pounded up into small pieces and then fed the crows 
with them . — Times of bidia (Bombay), September 18, 1918. 

It is a well written, well printed and well got up little 
volume of the indigenous people of India. Mr. Venkataswamy 
has written fine readable books like the Life of M. Nagloo 
(reviewed by us), The Story of Bobbin^ besides the present neat 
volume of Folk Stories from India. Some of them undoubtedly 
enable us to understand the mental outlook of the original 
inhabitants of India before any Aryan set his foot on the soil. 
Mr. Venkataswami lives in Southern India, where the pre-Aryan 
background has not yet been so completely effaced as in 
Aryavarta. He has used his opportunities well in this ‘Folklorists’ 
paradise ’ and has arranged his collections in groups headed 
‘ Stories of the Marvellous or Supernatural, Stories of Adventure 
and Romance, Comic Exploits of Noodles, Stories illustrative of 
Tribal or Caste Eccentricities, National Gods, Beast Stories 
etc.’ We have only one suggestion to make; he should have 
mentioned the district where and tribe (or caste) among whom 
each story is Modern Review (Jadunath Sarkar)* 


I am very pleased to see another little book by my old 
friend Mr. Venkataswami. ‘ Folk Stories from India ’ can be read 

24 $ 


superficially and little be gathered from them but amusement ; 
but they can also be studied and a great deal learned from them 
of the people to whom they still appeal. 

I have out pointed to the author the desirability of adopting 
the recognized method of transliterating Indian words, but the 
book bears the marks of so much care and industry that one is 
loath to criticize it too harshly. 

I trust that Mr. Venkataswamy will continue his researches 
in the by-ways of Indian Literature and give us the benefit of 
them in some future work. 

The affectionate dedication of the book throws important 
sidelights on some of the best features of Indian family life. 


Ramkot, Hyderabad, 
I4ik September^ 1918. 

Hyderabad (DECCAN), 
Education Offices, 
Hh April, 1919, 

I have read with pleasure and profit Mr. M. N. Venkata- 
swamy *s ‘ folks Stories from India The author is doing an 
important service to the Indian renaissance which we are witness- 
ing by thus giving literary expression to the life and thought 
of the people. Every lover of things Indian must welcome 
this attempt to give literary form to the tradition handed down 
among the simple folk of India from father to son. The author 
^writes in a simple, readable style, and the get-up of the book is 
attractive. I sincerely hope his endeavours will receive the 
encouragement and appreciation they so well deserve. 


Chief Inspector of Secondary Schools s 
H. E. H. The Nisamls Government, 
Hyderabad, Deccan. 



Office of the Bishop of Madras, 
Teynampet, Madras, S. W. 

(On Tour), 

May^ 1919. 

Bishopric of 

Dear Sir, 

In reply to your letter of the 22nd instant the Bishop desires 
me to say that he has read your book of Folk Stories from India 
with interest and thinks such works are a valuable contribution 
to the anthropological study of the country. 

Yours faithfully, 

Bishop's Chaplain. 

Office of the Bishop of Madras^ 

October 4, 1919. 

Bishopric of 

Dear Mr. Venkataswami, 

Forgive my not having answered your letter of September 6 
last before this. I read your book on Folk Stories from India of 
which you kindly gave me a copy with great interest. It gives, 
I think, a very good idea of Folk stories that are current among 
the masses of the Indian people and play so large a part in their 

Believe me, 

Yours sincerely, 



, • The Retreat, 

Hyderabad (DECCAN). 




Rev. G. E. BROWN, m.a., 


Church House, 
Hydbraead (DECCAN), 

6th November, 1919. 

Mr. Venkataswamy is a‘ diligent student of Indian folklore. 
I have too little knowledge of that subject to review his book 
but feel sure that Mr. Venkataswamy ought to make further 
contributions to so interesting a subject. 


107-1 Machua Bazaar Street, 
l7th August y 1920. 

Dr. GAURANGANATH BANERJEA, m.a., ph.d., F.R.S.A., 
University Lecturer on A7ici€7it History. 


M. N. venkataswamy, Esq., M.R.A.S., M.F.L.S., etc., 
The Retreat, 


Dear Mr. Venkataswamy, 

Many thanks for your kind letter of the 31st July, 1920^ and 
for your book on Folklore. I have gone through the book and 
find the Stories interesting and well arranged. I only would 
have liked that you might have included some folktales from 
Hindustan proper — I mean the folklore current in the Gangetic 
plain and in Bengal. That would have lent an additional charm 
to your very readable book. 

I am, 

Yours sincerely, 




Biographical Memoir of R. T. H. Griffith, m.a., c.i.e., 
attached to the large type edition of the translation of his 

Nagpur, C. P. 
lOth November, 1915. 



Thh Retreat, 


Dear Sir, 

• * It was extremely kind and mindful of you to send 

me the volume of the Ramayana and I read your own brief 
biography of R. T. H. Griffith with much interest. The 
perusal of the Ramayana itself is a pleasure yet in store * * • 

I am, with kind regards. 
Yours sincerely,